Japanese Car Maker Honda Recalls Cars with Takata Airbags
Japanese carmaker Honda is recalling 4.5 million more cars globally amid continuing fears of a potentially deadly defect in Takata airbags. At least eight deaths, all in Honda cars, have been linked to the airbag inflator, which can deploy with too much force spraying metal shrapnel.
Globally, tens of millions of cars with Takata airbags have been recalled since 2008, most of them in the US.
Other brands that have issued recalls include Nissan, General Motors and BMW. But Honda, the number three carmaker in Japan, has been hardest hit with 24.5 million cars recalled – more than half of the global total.
A Honda spokesman in Tokyo told AFP news agency on Thursday that the carmaker had found some airbag inflators had “uneven gas density, which we worry could do some harm. It is a preventive measure and unlike other normal recalls we are not waiting for the full results of the research,” he said.
Honda is recalling about 1.63 million cars in Japan alone. The carmaker told the Reuters news agency that North America was not included in the latest recall.
The announcement came a day after Nissan announced its first case of injuries sustained from a Takata airbag deployment. The airbag inflated and exploded in the passenger side of an X-Trail sport utility vehicle involved in a car crash in Iwata in central Japan on 25 June.
Nissan said the passenger side window was smashed and high-temperature fragments were sent flying into the dashboard. The driver’s left cheek was lightly burnt, although it remains unclear whether this was caused by the explosion.
Earlier investigations showed Takata airbag inflators were not properly sealed and could be damaged by moisture. It is alleged that the airbags can burst under pressure, due to the instability of its chemical propellant, spraying shrapnel inside the car.
Takata is currently facing multiple class action lawsuits and criminal and regulatory investigations in North America.