Honda Motor Co. says it is recalling a further three million vehicles in the United States associated with exploding air bags made by Takata Corp. A recall earlier this week was limited to US states and territories with high humidity.
The Takata-made airbags can explode with metal shards shooting out at people. Since 2008, the same problem has resulted in almost seven million vehicles in the US being recalled. So far, five people have died.
Honda is Takata’s largest customer. Nearly 10 million vehicles globally have been recalled since 2008 because of problems with its airbags.
Airbag ruptures were first reported in regions with high humidity. Honda has expanded its recall to include other regions, to determine whether the air bags and inflaters are dangerous elsewhere.
After receiving reports of Takata-made airbags exploding outside high-humidity areas, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told the Japanese supplier to expand regional recalls.
Takata does not think it is necessary to include areas without high humidity.
There is concern that Takata, which is expanding its operations in its Mexican plant, might not be able to supply enough inflaters for all the replacements.
Both Honda and Toyota are looking into using other suppliers, including Autolic Inc. and Daicel Corp.
On Wednesday, Honda called for a coordinated, industry-wide, third-party testing of airbag inflators made by Takata, to make sure that the replacements are safe.
Rick Schostek, executive vice president of Honda North America, Inc. said in a statement:
“We believe that the industry can achieve greater results by sharing information and putting its collective efforts behind the same objective third party testing program. Honda continues to quickly address the needs and concerns of our customers, and this industry-wide initiative will bring additional energy and focus to this effort.”
Video – Exploding airbags continue injuring people