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Pedestrian protection is increasingly becoming one of the priorities in vehicular safety. In fact, Euro NCAP includes pedestrian protection as of one of the four aspects by which it rates overall safety in vehicles. Now, Mercedes-Benz is trying to get ahead of its rivals in the field of pedestrian protection by registering a patent that would allow the German premium carmaker to install external airbags.
According to its patent application with United States Patent and Trademark Office, the pedestrian protection device includes a bonnet that could be popped up or opened in order to further soften an impact. The car is fitted with a number of sensors that could detect when the vehicle hits a pedestrian. As soon as the car senses that a collision has occurred against the edge of the bonnet, this part of the vehicle would shift in the direction of the windscreen.
The pedestrian protection device also includes two airbags, which when triggered, would extend across a region of the windscreen pillar, which is also known as the A pillar. The airbag would have a cylindrical shape -- or even an oval shape -- and would be fitted inside a fabric tube. The associated actuator system is also fitted in the fabric tube. One end of the fabric tube would be connected to the edge of the bonnet or to the hinge of the hood. Meanwhile, the other end is fixed to front frame cross-member of the roof or to the A-pillar.Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz patents a pedestrian protection system with airbags on the A-pillar
The aftermath of the Takata airbag recall still largely resounds in the automotive industry, as big automotive companies like BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Toyota were extensively hit with what is considered as the largest single automotive recall of all time. The said 4 companies have had to make a settlement worth whopping $553 million with the United States government. Now that hurt a lot.
Current owners of around 16 million affected vehicles equipped with the faulty Takata air bags are candidates for financial aid in getting their vehicles checked out and fixed, with up to $500 in compensation as part of new consumer settlements that involve various automakers. BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Toyota have provided a collective statement on this unfortunate situation, explaining that the said settlement would allow a series of programs to raise recall remedy completion rates for Takata airbag inflators, including other customer benefits.
Included in this plan is an outreach program that will aid the speed of the recall and repair process, supervised through traditional and non-traditional means. For example, a rental car will serve as loaner vehicles to afflicted customers when requested, or during instances when parts for the recall are not available within 30 days. In addition, afflicted customers will be able to demand reimbursement for "appropriate out of pocket expenses that is due directly to the Takata airbag inflator recalls under out of pocket claims and the remaining distribution program.Read the entire article BMW, Subaru, Mazda and Toyota offer $553 million settlement following Takata's airbag recall
More Toyota models have been named in the recalls involving Takata front passenger airbag inflators, bringing the total number of vehicles with Toyota and Lexus nameplates in the U.S. to about 2,915,000 units. Toyota has added 1,365,000 units to the recall. These are: 2003-2007 Corolla and Corolla Matrix; 2005-2006 Tundra; 2005-2007 Sequoia; and 2003-2007 Lexus SC430 vehicles.
The recall has been issued because the front passenger airbag inflators are at risk of rupturing when deployed and leading to serious injuries in the occupants. Toyota Motor North America chief quality officer Dino Triantafyllos said that the automaker is focused on its customers’ safety and security. That’s why it will quickly and appropriately respond to any developments.
There are numerous investigations ongoing to determine the cause of the potential rupture. One of those conducting a probe is independent engineering company Orbital ATK, which was commissioned by an industry-wide joint testing initiative composed of the 10 automakers involved in the recalls.Read the entire article Toyota adds 1.36 million more units to Takata-related recall
Only one day after Toyota and Nissan issued a recall of 6.5 million vehicles worldwide, there was a further expansion of the safety campaign related to defective airbags from Takata. This time, Honda is recalling about 4.89 million vehicles and Daihatsu said that about 260,000 units are affected.
If you own a Honda unit in the U.S. or Canada, you’re not part of the recall since the vehicles sold in these markets didn’t have the potentially defective airbags targeted in the latest recall. Instead, Honda’s recall affects about 1.7 million units in Japan that were built from 2002 to 2008.
The nameplates covered by the recall were produced in the U.S., Japan, and Thailand. The rest of the recalls are from the other regions. Honda said that the breakdowns of the regions will be announced locally. Meanwhile, the recall of Daihatsu-brand covers only cars built in Japan.Read the entire article Honda, Daihatsu add 5 million vehicles to Takata airbag recalls
A recall has been announced for over 6.5 million cars sold by Toyota and Nissan around the world for the replacement of possibly defective airbag inflators produced by Takata Corp. Toyota is recalling around 5 million Corolla, Vitz/Yaris and other models sold globally. Via an email, Toyota revealed that this recall affects 35 models, which include 1.36 million units in Japan, 1.27 million units in Europe, 637,000 units in the U.S. and 18,000 cars in Canada.
Gordon Trowbridge (spokesman for the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) said that in the last few days, Toyota, Nissan, and Japanese government officials have been in contact with the U.S. safety agency. He said that very soon, the NHTSA will announce "significant new steps" related to accelerating the recalls of these Takata products.
He added that it’s not yet known what the root cause is for the defect but it’s clear that high humidity is a factor. This implies that time and moisture are factors involved in this issue. According to a Takata spokeswoman, an investigation has been started on what caused the airbag problems. She also said that the company is cooperating with the carmakers.Read the entire article Toyota, Nissan expand airbag recall to 6.5 million more cars
Takata Corp. is facing a $14,000-a-day fine from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for its failure to "fully cooperate" with the agency’s probe into its exploding airbag inflators linked to at least six deaths. Takata will have to pay $14,000 fine every day until it addresses its shortcomings in the probe.
The NHTSA has warned Takata that it will refer the situation to the Department of Justice if the Japanese supplier fails to take action, according to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. The fines refers from the NHTSA’s “special orders” issued in 2014 asking Takata to produce documents and answer questions under oath over its airbags -- to help NHTSA’s probe into the defect.
According to a letter to Takata attorneys sent by NHTSA chief counsel Kevin Vincent, the company has supplied more than 2.4 million pages of documents in response to the special orders, which are considered subpoenas. The document production orders also require the supplier to include descriptions to explain the content of submitted documents, but Takata has failed to do so.Read the entire article Takata Corp. is facing daily fine of $14,000 from the NHTSA
Takata Corp. is planning to double production of its airbag inflators to 900,000 units monthly by September as it tries to meet the backlog of orders for replacement parts. According to Takata spokesman Jared Levy, the supplier has completed the ramp-up of two new assembly lines at its Monclova site in Mexico that allowed it to hike monthly production of replacement inflators from 300,000 units to 450,000 units.
He remarked that Takata’s plants around the world will produce 900,000 units a month. At a current production rate of 450,000 units a month, Takata would need a few years to fill the order backlog as its customers expanded regional recalls in the United States into a national one. While Takata is having a hard time increasing its production, its rival suppliers are taking the opportunity to fill in the gap.
In fact, Autoliv Inc., the world’s No. 1 airbag producer, confirmed in January that has inked contracts with a number of carmakers to deliver up to 25 million airbag inflators to fix possibly faulty airbags. According to Autoliv, it will produce the airbag inflators this year and in 2015, adding that its holding talks with carmakers to deliver millions more.Read the entire article Takata to double airbag inflator production rate by September
Mark Lillie, a former engineer at Takata Corp. has told a United States congressional committee that he would be willing to testify that he gave warnings against using the ammonium nitrate to inflate its air bags. Lillie said his exit from the company was linked to Takata’s disregard of his warnings.
He told Bloomberg in a phone interview that he knew that “ultimately there were going to be catastrophic failures,” adding he didn’t want his name associated with it. Takata, in an e-mailed response to questions from Bloomberg News, didn’t directly address Lillie’s account of company discussions over the chemical compound or the circumstances of his exit.
The company has already set up an independent panel that will conduct a “comprehensive review” to ensure that its current manufacturing procedures “meet best practices in the production of safe inflators.” The company said it will share the results of the probe publicly. against using the chemical compound ammonium nitrate to inflate its air bags.Read the entire article Former Takata engineer is willing to testify in US congress
Honda Motor Co. is expecting an annual operating profit for the fiscal year ending March 31 that is 6.5 percent less than its forecast. The previous figure was JPY770 billion, and the new number was placed at JPY720 billion, as the carmaker had to set aside JPY50 billion in extra cash to cover an extended car recall related to faulty Takata Corp. airbags.
Despite the airbag issue hounding the company, its Executive Vice President, Tetsuo Iwamura, is confident that it would not have a big impact on sales in North America. In the third quarter ending December 2014, Honda saw a 23-percent drop in operating profit to JPY177.2 billion, no thanks to costs related to recalls.
Takata recalls have reached around 25 million since 2008, over half of which involves Honda vehicles. Likewise, all deaths like to the issue each involved a Honda model fitted with Takata airbag. Honda is paying of the voluntary recall of around 4 million cars in the United States, but may get reimbursements once probers determine that it was Takata who at fault.Read the entire article Honda cuts profit guidance for current fiscal year by 6.5% due to Takata airbag crisis
Japanese supplier Toyoda Gosei is seeking to take a chunk of the higher demand for airbags, particularly in emerging markets like Southeast Asia, India and China where vehicles offered in these areas now have airbags as standard features. According to Toyoda Gosei President Tadashi Arashima, the higher demand for airbags won’t be affected by the current crisis at Takata Corp.
He told Bloomberg News in an interview that Toyoda Gosei recently invested in India, Indonesia and Mexico related to airbags, adding that airbag market will be bigger. He noted that the company’s current capacity is really tight, which means the supplier may have to boost it in the next few years, most likely in India or other emerging markets.
Arashima said Toyoda Gosei started producing airbag inflators around four years ago as these were relatively expensive components and are less expensive to build in-house. He noted that it was hard to know how to produce airbags without making the inflators. Toyoda Gosei has commenced inflator production in a site in Inazawa city.Read the entire article Toyoda Gosei may hike capacity to meet growing demand for airbags
BMW AG, in collaboration with the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has expanded its national recall to include 140,000 more vehicles fitted with suspected faulty driver-side airbags. The recall covers MY2004-2006 3-series vehicles built between January 2004 and August 2006.
The Bavarian carmaker said in a statement that while none of the reported cases of defective airbags involved its vehicles, the German carmaker will cooperate fully with NHTSA by replacing the driver-side front airbag in the affected vehicles.
BMW spokesman Dave Buchko told The Detroit News that the recall covers all the vehicles that NHTSA asked to be recalled. BMW is the fifth carmaker in the US to expand recalls of Takata driver-side airbags following an order from NHTSA to do so in November.Read the entire article BMW expands US recall of Takata airbags to 140,000 more vehicles
FCA US will recall up to 3.3 million more older-model vehicles to replace driver-side airbag inflators made by Takata Corp. as the former Chrysler Group gives in to a demand by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Following a meeting last week with NHTSA, FCA announced plans to replace the inflators in MY2004-2007 models of: Dodge Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups; Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cabs; Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen SUVs; Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans; Dodge Magnums; Dodge Dakota and Mitsubishi Raider pickups.
The recall covers 2,890,785 vehicles in the United States, 258,586 in Canada, 66,436 in Mexico, and 99,030 in other markets. The latest recall means that FCA has already called back almost 3.7 million vehicles around the world.Read the entire article FCA US is recalling 3.3M older model vehicles to replace Takata airbags
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.Read the entire article Takata has enough money to handle airbag recall, says CEO
Takata Corp. has tapped the services of public relations firm Sard Verbinnen & Co. to handle its communications while the issue of suspected faulty airbag inflators remains very hot. With the hiring of Sard Verbinnen by Takata brings out the question whether its chief executive, Shigehisa Takada will publicly speak on the issue, Scott Upham, president of Valient Market Research, told Reuters.
While Takada apologized to shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in June, he has not been seen in public. Sard Verbinnen is a financial communications firm famous for working on some of the biggest mergers and acquisitions in the United States, like the recently announced $8.7-billion leveraged buyout of PetSmart Inc.
Sard Verbinnen also counts former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Fabrice Tourre, who was accused of defrauding mortgage investors, as one of its clients.Read the entire article Takata hires services of public relations firm Sard Verbinnen
Honda Motor Co. is recalling around 569,000 vehicles in China to probe into suspect defects with airbags from Takata Corp. GAC-Honda, a joint venture between Honda and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., will recall 527,136 Accords made between May 2002 to December 2007 to replace the driver-side airbags, according to a post on the Web site of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.
GAC-Honda will also recall 16,505 Fit Saloon cars produced between Oct. 30, 2002 and Dec. 30, 2003.
Honda said that another joint venture will 26,128 Elysion minivans made between June 2012 and June 2014. Zhu Linjie, a spokesman for Honda in China, remarked that the recall will commence on Feb. 28, 2015 since the carmaker currently has no replacement parts available. He said that the cars can be driven as usual and the airbags were not to be disabled.Read the entire article Honda issued investigative recall of 569,000 vehicles in China due to Takata airbags
Takata Corp. has commenced implementing stricter quality controls on a group of parts suppliers as the Japanese company ramps up output of replacements for millions of airbags suspected of being defective and fatal, people privy with the matter told Reuters.
In the past two months, Takata has commenced a series of "urgent" inspections across its supply network, dispatching managers to parts makers in Japan and Asia to disclose the changes, sources said.
One of the people involved said that during an October closed-door meeting between Takata executives and over 100 suppliers, the company said it would send representatives to inspect 40 suppliers of key parts before the end of 2014 and audit the rest of them next year.Read the entire article Takata is now stricter in quality control for its parts suppliers
Takata’s patent history for its airbags reveals that that the supplier’s researchers, for dozens of years, has been aware of the instability of the explosive propellant -- ammonium nitrate – and have been looking for ways to make them more stable and the safety devices more durable, according to Bloomberg News.
The news agency reviewed the patents studied by Jason Turchin, a lawyer involved in a Takata airbag litigation, as well as other documents. Turchin cites two patents, from 1985 and from 1989, that address the possibility that airbag housings can degrade when exposed to high temperatures and can be at risk of rupturing or breaking apart.
According to a patent search by Innography Inc., at least seven applications from Takata cite those two patents. The patents were aimed at improve the ammonium nitrate propellants that help inflate the airbags and strengthen their metal housing.Read the entire article Takata patents show that company has been aware of the instability of the explosive propellant
Japanese carmakers Honda, Nissan and Mitsubishi are to issue recalls of over half a million vehicles around the world to replace airbag inflators from Takata Corp. The recalls are similar to a recent precautionary recall made by Toyota after it recorded recent "unusual deployment" of a passenger-side airbag at a scrap yard in Japan.
A Takata airbag inflator in a MY2003 Toyota Will Cypha unusually exploded at a scrapyard in central Japan in November, prompting Toyota to recall 185,000 MY2003 vehicles equipped with the same type of inflator, which were produced at the supplier’s Monclova site in Mexico.
Honda’s recall covers around 400,000 vehicles globally, including about 177,000 in Japan and includes 11 models like the Stream minivan, Fit/Jazz subcompact and Civic hybrid built in 2003. Honda’s recall also covers around 100,000 cars in Europe and 70,000 in Asia-Pacific.Read the entire article Honda, Nissan and Mitsubishi to recall half-a-million cars with Takata airbags
Honda Motor Co. will issue a global investigative recall of vehicles with airbags made by Japanese supplier, President Takanobu Ito told Nihon Keizei Shimbun newspaper. The disclosure came just days after the carmaker extended a similar recall in the United States from a regional callback to a national one.
While Ito said he is frustrated with the Takata’s response, Honda will offer support if the Japanese supplier starts to suffer from into financial difficulties. He told the daily that he regretted not acting sooner to launch an investigation into root cause of the faulty airbags, which could explode and send shrapnel to passengers.
He remarked that Honda cannot depend on Takata to sort out the cause, adding that the carmaker should have acted on a view that it was vehicle problems instead of a parts problem. Honda’s expansion of its recall added 2.6 million vehicles called back in the US, which means the total number of recalled vehicles in the country has reached 8.74 million.Read the entire article Honda to launch global recall of vehicles with Takata airbags
Recent developments are showing that Takata Corp.’s carmaker-customers as well as the United States the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are losing confidence over the Japanese supplier’s ability to solve the current faulty airbag inflator recall crisis.
Takata has said it was still trying to sort out the root cause of the defect and has rejected calls from the NHTSA to expand the regional recalls into a national one. Likewise, Takata has been giving next to no information about the progress of the steps it was taking.
In fact, the supplier’s top executives have avoided making public appearances in Japan. Just within 24 hours after informing the NHTSA on Dec. 2 that it would reject demands for nationwide recall of its driver-side airbags, the agency and customers as well as rival suppliers announced to take some actions.Read the entire article NHTSA and customers loses confidence in Takata in resolving crisis
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