Earlier today a Honda spokesperson announced a new Honda cars recall. This new safety crisis comes after the news that a Malaysian woman had died in a car accident in July 27, and her death was caused by the defective Takata airbag which ruptured and sent shrapnel through her body.
This is the first Takata airbag victim outside the United States and the fifth in total, determining Honda Motors to issue a new global recall of around 170, 000 cars. The Malaysian victim was driving a 2003 Honda City, but the car maker didn’t confirm whether the cause of death was indeed the airbag explosion. However, the company’s official representatives announced the new Honda cars recall today.
The total recall can now be summed up to more than 10 million cars on a global scale, while the new Honda cars recall will affect the Asia – Pacific region, including China and Japan, and European regions, which makes sense given the fact that the 2003 Honda City driven by the Malaysian victim is a subcompact model destined to Asian and European markets. Among the five newly recalled models there are the Honda Fit and the Honda Civic, none of which were sold in the U.S.
However, it is not only Honda Motors recalling Takata equipped cars. Among the ten automakers taking such drastic measures in the United States alone there are Chrysler, Toyota, BMW and Nissan. The total number of cars recalled because of the defective Takata airbags rises to over 17 million since 2008.
Takata is not only facing the demise of the company in the light of these events, but is said to have faced some calls by U.S. senators for a criminal investigation. It seems that the airbag problems were known to Takata since 2004, but the company didn’t alert the regulators, preferring to discard the tested flawed air bag inflators and go quiet about it.
In order to explain the Malaysia accident, Honda Motors officials said that the defect could have been caused by the air bag inflator’s over – exposure to moisture inside the now – closed Takata factory in La Grange, Georgia. Takata’s market shares are witnessing a free fall these days, but analysts consider the company will still remain in the automotive game, despite the new Honda cars recall and the bad rep Takata gain among its investors.
Analysts consider that the Japanese car makers are more likely to continue to work with Takata after this “one – time incident” gets forgotten and forgiven, especially because switching from one air bag supplier to another costs a car making company a lot of time (in terms of years), money and bureaucratic stress.