Takata Corp. has enough funds to handle a global recall of possibly defective airbags involving over 21 million vehicles, chief executive Shigehisa Takada told Nikkei. Takada remarked to the Japanese newspaper that the company is not worries that it would be undercapitalized, adding that Takata may take financing steps if needed.
Takata has so far allocated $774 million (£496 million) to deal with recalls, is facing a number of class-action lawsuits as well as a criminal investigation in the United States. The interview with Nikkei comes as Takada still has to make a public appearance over the issue. He told the daily that he has no intentions to avoid the public and is just busy directing Takata’s response to the airbag crisis.
Takada said the supplier is currently making the production of replacement airbags as a priority. So far, the faulty airbags are linked to five deaths -- four in the United States and one in Malaysia – involving Honda cars fitted with the safety device.
He said that Takata is analyzing collected inflators to find the root cause of defects in its airbags, which have the potential to explode and send shrapnel flying. He remarked that the company has identified and corrected manufacturing issues, like mismanagement of ammonium nitrate has been used as an ingredient in the inflators since 2000.
Takada remarked that the supplier was analyzing around 100 inflators a day to determine the cause of the defect. Despite a move to ramp up output of replacement inflators at its Mexican site, there have been worries that there won’t be enough replacement parts for the recall.