Toyota, Nissan to recall more than 3 mn more cars over airbag

June 25, 2015 8:44 am


Nissan logo/FILE
Nissan logo/FILE
JAPAN, Jun 25 – Toyota and Nissan, Japan’s two top automakers, on Thursday said they will recall more than three million more cars globally because of concerns over airbags involved in eight deaths worldwide.

“Toyota will now globally expand its recalls to involve approximately 2,860,000 additional vehicles equipped with certain front passenger airbag inflators,” the automaker said in an email.

Nissan said it would recall 198,000 units worldwide, while Mitsubishi also said it would call back 120,000 vehicles.

Airbags made by Japanese parts maker Takata have sparked a global recall crisis for many automakers.

Toyota alone says a total 12.66 million units are now affected, but Honda, Japan’s number three automaker, has been the hardest hit, with more than 19 million vehicles recalled globally.

Tokyo-based Takata last month agreed to double a US recall to a record more than 30 million vehicles made by some of the world’s biggest automakers.

The defect — thought to be linked to a chemical propellant that helps inflate the airbags — can cause them to deploy with explosive force, sending metal shrapnel hurtling toward drivers and passengers.

Hours before the additional recalls were reported, Takata held a shareholders’ meeting in Tokyo, where executives bowed in apology for the plunging stock price and lack of dividend for investors, shareholders said.

The company originally planned to air the meeting live on the Internet but abruptly cancelled it.

“It wasn’t satisfactory at all. I would give it 50 points out 100,” said shareholder Hiromi Tamura, 60, as he emerged from the closed-door meeting.

“There is no clear prospect (for resolution). I don’t think they are confident in themselves either.”

Another shareholder, 71-year-old Shizuo Sakaguchi, said: “The responses by the company are unacceptable. Many shareholders were asking what specific measures the company is going to take.”

A senior Takata executive told US lawmakers this month that the company — one of the world’s biggest airbag makers — was still searching for the main cause of deadly explosions.

Takata chairman and CEO Shigehisa Takada is set to speak at a press conference at 4:30 pm (0730 GMT), his first public appearance since the airbag crisis hit.

On Monday Honda confirmed a new death linked to an exploding air bag crisis, bringing the global total to eight fatalities.

The company said a woman in Los Angeles died in September last year after the faulty inflator in a 2001 Honda Civic ruptured, firing metal shrapnel at her.


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