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Honda Expands Takata Airbag Recall Nationwide

Honda Corporation announced that it would expand the Takata airbag recall of its affected vehicles to include owners across the U.S. Of the estimated 8 million vehicles targeted by the recall, more than 5 million carry the Honda brand. The previous Takata airbag recall was limited to residents of the Gulf Coast states. The recall was issued after reports surfaced that the propellant in the airbag deployment system became highly volatile under humid conditions.

Washington Investigates Takata Airbag Recall

Representatives from Honda told a House of Representatives subcommittee on auto safety that the company would expand the Takata airbag recall nationwide. The response from Honda comes as a result of Takata officials’ refusal to comply with a deadline to establish a nationwide recall for all of its customers. Regulators with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that the agency would pursue the means to force the company to expand the Takata airbag recall to include the other affected automakers.

Takata Airbag Recall Affects Major Automakers

The Takata airbag recall includes nearly 3 million vehicles from nine other automakers. Japanese automakers Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota also carry the Takata airbags, but not in the same numbers as Honda. Several models from American car makers, including Ford, GM and Chrysler, as well as vehicles from German manufacturer BMW, are among those listed for the Takata airbag recall. The recall on the affected GM vehicles adds to the company’s recall woes, including the recall of more than 2.6 million vehicles for a defective ignition switch.

Takata Airbag Recall Rocks Japanese Auto Industry

With millions of Japanese vehicles affected by the Takata airbag recall, the country’s auto industry is on the verge of a severe crisis of confidence. Japanese Transport Minister Akihiro Ohta warned that, “The good reputation Japanese makers have enjoyed could be shaken” and that the company “need(s) to solve (the problem) as soon as possible.” Members of Minister Ohta’s department have already created a task force to conduct daily meetings with the manufacturer to assess their progress on solving the Takata airbag recall issues.

Stock Prices Plunge After Takata Airbag Recall

The Takata airbag recall has also caused investors to lose faith in the company. The company’s share prices have fallen more than 50 percent since January. Executives have already set aside nearly $400 million to cover costs associated with the Takata airbag recall, while observers expect that amount to rise as the impact of the recall spreads across both the U.S. and Japan. The company and its customers may also face numerous product liability lawsuits from the families of those injured or killed from exploding airbag assemblies, which will drive their costs even higher.

Source: USA Today 

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