Toy­ota, Nissan to re­call over 3 mil. more cars over air bags

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

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 air bags 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 air bag 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.

Air bags 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 U.S. 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 air bags — 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 closed­door meet­ing.

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

Another share­holder, 71-yearold 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 U.S. law­mak­ers this month that the com­pany — one of the world’s big­gest air bag 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 air bag 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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