Tag Archive | "air bag"

Nissan Says to Expand U.S. Regional Recall for Takata Air Bags

Nissan Motor Co said on Friday it would expand an investigative recall in certain U.S. regions to replace air bags made by Takata Corp, adding about 45,000 Sentras from the 2004-2006 model years that weren’t included previously, reported Reuters.

Japan’s second-largest automaker has informed the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about its plans to replace passenger-side air bags of the affected Sentras, a spokesman said.

Bloomberg reported earlier the expansion followed a March 21 accident in which a woman was injured from shrapnel in her 2006 Sentra in Louisiana, which is one of the states covered in Nissan’s regional recall.

Since 2008, about a dozen automakers have recalled nearly 25 million vehicles equipped with potentially deadly Takata-made air bag inflators, which can explode with too much force and shoot metal shards into occupants.

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Honda Hires U.S. Engineering Firm Exponent to Probe Takata Air Bags

Honda Motor Co has hired Exponent, a U.S.-based engineering consulting company enlisted by Toyota Motor Corp during its recall crisis in 2010, to investigate the cause of ruptures in some air bags made by Takata Corp, reported Reuters.

The hiring of Exponent was first reported by Japan’s Jiji News on Monday and confirmed by a Honda spokesman in Tokyo.

A consortium of 10 automakers led by Toyota Motor Corp and which includes Honda has separately commissioned engineering firm Orbital ATK to conduct independent testing of Takata’s air bag inflators, which can rupture with too much force, shooting metal shards into vehicles. Six deaths have been linked to the problem so far, all on Honda cars.

About 25 million vehicles with Takata air bags have been recalled worldwide since 2008.

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Chrysler to Recall More Than 228,000 Jeep Cherokees

Chrysler will recall more than 228,000 vehicles because their airbags could unexpectedly inflate without a crash, reported the NYTimes.

The company will upgrade software governing side-curtain and seat-mounted side airbags in Jeep Cherokees from the 2014-15 model years, including more than 168,000 vehicles in the United States. Chrysler engineers initiated an investigation after getting reports of “a small number of inadvertent deployments involving drivers who executed extreme maneuvers.”

In these cases, the airbag systems, sensing potential rollovers, automatically activated. The action follows a much larger recall for inadvertent airbag deployments announced on Saturday by regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That recall covers about 2.1 million vehicles made by Chrysler, Toyota and Honda with airbags that might suddenly deploy.

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Honda Opts for Takata Rival to Supply Accord Air Bags

Honda Motor Co has chosen a competitor of embattled Takata Corp to supply air bags for the next North American version of its Accord sedan, the automaker’s best-selling vehicle, two people with knowledge of the decision said, reported Reuters.

In the first major defection by a carmaker since Takata’s safety crisis began, Honda, Takata’s largest customer, will use air bags made by Toyoda Gosei for the all-new Accord, scheduled to go on sale in August 2017, the people told Reuters.

Honda’s decision to shift to a competitor for the most important vehicle in its largest market represents a major blow for Takata after a safety crisis involving its air bags that forced the recall for more than 21 million vehicles globally.

Honda spokeswoman Akemi Ando said the company had no immediate comment. Takata also had no immediate comment. Toyoda Gosei spokesman Shingo Handa said the company would not comment on its customers as a matter of practice.

Toyoda Gosei will supply driver’s-side air bags as well as knee and curtain air bags for the North American version of the Accord, the people with knowledge of the move told Reuters.

Honda said last month that it had signed a deal with Autoliv to begin making replacement parts for recalled vehicles later this year. The Japanese automaker also said it had begun discussions with inflator maker Daicel Corp.

Since 2008, Honda has recalled more than 13 million vehicles equipped with Takata air bags, including more than 10 million in the United States.

Air bags made by Takata for Honda and 10 other manufacturers have been recalled because of a defect that puts them at risk of rupturing in an accident and shooting metal shards at vehicle occupants. The defect has been linked to at least five deaths and dozens of injuries.

Honda Chief Executive Takanobu Ito has spoken privately about his frustration with Takata, a seatbelt and air bag maker Honda groomed and had long considered part of its circle of preferred suppliers, according to people close to Ito.

Takata supplied air bags for the U.S. version of the Accord since at least the 2000 model year, according to recall notices. Honda’s Ando declined to comment on the automaker’s air bag supply arrangements for the current version of the Accord.

Honda sold just over 388,000 Accords in the United States in 2014, representing just over a quarter of its total U.S. sales. The vehicle is also the platform for other popular Honda models.

One of those with knowledge of Honda’s plans, who asked not to be named because the sourcing decisions remain confidential, said the automaker would begin using Toyoda Gosei air bags beginning with the redesigned CR-V and the all-new Odyssey minivan in 2016.

Together, the CR-V and the Accord represent about half of Honda’s U.S. sales.

In another sign of pressure on Takata, General Motors, Takata’s third-largest customer, said last month that it had developed contingency plans in case the recalls of potentially lethal air bags widened.

GM said it had directed Takata to share specifications with TRW and Autoliv so that they could make replacement parts for the top U.S. automaker if needed.

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Chrysler Expands Takata Passenger-Side Air Bag Recall in U.S.

Chrysler Group is expanding its U.S. recall of older-model vehicles with Takata Corp passenger-side air bags, adding a second inflator design to the recall and more affected regions, reported Reuters.

Chrysler, a unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, said in a statement late Thursday that it was recalling 208,783 vehicles by adding the second inflator family as well as including five states and three territories. The company said no accidents or injuries in any of its vehicles have been linked to any Takata passenger-side inflators.

Chrysler was one of 10 automakers who began a regional recall in June of older-model vehicles equipped with both driver- and passenger-side Takata air bags in areas with high humidity.

Including a recent passenger-side air bag recall involving a single pickup truck model and a different Takata inflator design, the total number of affected vehicles is estimated at 617,573, Chrysler said.

“Chrysler Group has not identified an inflator defect in any of its vehicles,” the company said. “However, the company is committed – out of an abundance of caution – to replacing these components.”

U.S. safety regulators have been pushing Chrysler to expand its recall of vehicles with Takata passenger-side air bags, adding to the June regional recall.

On Dec. 3, Chrysler recalled 2003 Ram pickup trucks with passenger-side bags using inflators from a product family code-named “SPI.” Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called the move “insufficient” because it failed to include all inflators covered by Takata’s defect information report.

The recall on Thursday covers inflators from the “PSPI” family of Takata inflators, Chrysler said.

NHTSA officials could not be reached for a comment on Friday.

The latest expansion adds Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, American Samoa, Guam and Saipan to a list that initially included Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In addition to no injuries or accidents involving PSPI inflators, the company has not identified a defect in the parts, including its lab tests of nearly 600 such inflators.

The Thursday recall affects 2003 to 2005 models of Dodge and Chrysler cars, pickup trucks and SUVs. Affected customers will be notified, beginning Feb. 8.

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Takata Forms Independent Review Panel On Air-Bag Defects

Takata Corp, the Japanese supplier at the center of an air-bag recall crisis affecting millions of vehicles globally, has announced it will form an independent review panel to investigate the company’s handling of a safety defect linked to five deaths world-wide, reported The WSJ.

The panel, which will be chaired by former U.S. Transportation Secretary Samuel Skinner, will be tasked with producing a report on Takata’s manufacturing procedures and the safety of its air-bag inflaters and inflater propellants. The report will be made public upon its completion, according to a statement released Tuesday and signed by Takata CEO and Chairman Shigeshisa Takada.

In some older-model cars, the air-bag inflaters are at risk of exploding with too much force and spraying the driver and passenger with metal shrapnel, Takata has said.

Since 2008, Takata and its auto maker clients have recalled than 10 million vehicles in the U.S. and millions more in Japan, Europe and other countries globally to fix the faulty air bags. The air-bag defect is linked to four deaths in the U.S.

However, a new problem emerged this summer, which Takata suspects is caused by long-term exposure to high humidity and temperature.

At the end of October, U.S. safety regulators urged Takata and 10 auto makers to promptly recall vehicles but only in a few hot, humid states and U.S. territories, where it had received several reports of air-bag ruptures.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has since demanded Takata expand recalls of certain driver-side air bags nationwide, after receiving a report of an air-bag explosion in North Carolina, a state not previously included in the recalls.

Takata has resisted the demand, arguing it has limited replacement parts to fix the air bags and a national recall would divert resources from the hot, humid regions where owners are most at risk for air-bag explosions.

In Tuesday’s statement, Mr. Takada didn’t say whether the company would comply, but noted it is “cooperating closely with our customers and NHTSA to address the potential for inflater rupturing.”

The demand requires Takata to begin sending notices of the most recent recall to customers by Tuesday or face fines of up to $7,000 a day.

NHTSA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Takata is one of the world’s largest suppliers of air bags, and despite the recalls, many car makers continue to sell cars equipped with their air bags.

Takata also said Tuesday it has hired two other former Transportation Department chiefs— Rodney Slater and Norman Mineta—to serve as special counsels to the company as it tries to rebuild its public reputation and ensure it response faster to safety defects.

The company said it is cooperating with a special order by U.S. regulators to turn over documents related to the air-bag defect, noting that it has collected more than “20 terabytes of data” and 360,000 pages of documents in response. NHTSA said Tuesday it had received Takata’s response to the special order but decline to release them publicly, pending an agency review.

On Wednesday, Takata Global Quality Chief Hiroshi Shimizu is expected to testify before a U.S. House panel about the company’s response to the air-bag defect. He will be joined by officials from Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and BMW AG—all of which have models affected by the air bag recalls.

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