Honda North America to expand recall of faulty driver-side airbag inflators

Article by Andrew Christian, on December 9, 2014

Honda North America will expand a recall of faulty driver-side airbag inflators made by Takata Corp. to a nationwide action. Honda will provide affected owners with free loaner cars until the fix is done, Rick Schostek, an executive vice president with Honda, told a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

He said that Honda will give priority to vehicles located in the high-humidity areas of the United States where they were initially recalled, no thanks limited replacement parts. Schostek said Honda is collaborating with two other airbag makers, Autoliv and Daicel, to speed up production of new inflators. Autoliv has confirmed in a statement it will build more inflators for Honda.

To match the demand for the inflators, Autoliv chief executive Jan Carlson said in the statement that the company is assessing the current and upcoming market needs to match its delivery capabilities. The Swedish auto safety products supplier disclosed adding more capacity at existing plans.

It said deliveries of the inflators could commence in about six months. Honda’s decision to expand the recall comes despite Takata's refusal to heed a demand by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration callback the driver-side inflators. NHTSA had given Takata until Tuesday to expand the recall.

Hiroshi Shimizu, Takata’s senior vice president for global quality assurance, told the House subcommittee that data supports that the supplier should still focus on the region with high temperature and high humidity. Shimizu asserted that the inflators Takata is currently producing are safe.

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