Japan's Toyota, Daihatsu announce new Takata airbag recall

GMT 13:59 2014 Thursday ,27 November

Arab Today, arab today Japan's Toyota, Daihatsu announce new Takata airbag recall

Japan's Toyota
Tokyo - AFP

Toyota said Thursday that it is expanding a recall of cars with airbags made by auto parts maker Takata which have been linked to driver deaths, in another blow to the embattled firm.
Toyota, the world's biggest automaker, said it would recall some 57,000 vehicles globally -- about 40,000 units in Japan and some 17,000 overseas -- while subsidiary Daihatsu would recall about 27,500 vehicles in Japan.
Some 16 million vehicles from nearly a dozen automakers worldwide, also including Honda, BMW, Ford and General Motors, have been recalled over the problem.
Takata has been under fire over accusations that it knew for years that its airbags could deploy with excessive explosive power and fire metal shrapnel from an inflater can at vehicle passengers.
At least five driver deaths in the US and Malaysia have been reportedly linked to the faulty airbags, with at least one victim's death initially investigated as a murder due to the grisly injuries.
Toyota's expanded recall marked the first for its cars with Takata airbags on the driver's side -- earlier callbacks covered those on the passenger side.
Mini-car maker Daihatsu's recall was its first over Takata-made airbags.
In the United States, regulators on Wednesday pressured Takata to expand its recall of faulty airbags across the country, or risk up to $35 million in financial penalties.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in a letter to the company, repeated its request from earlier in the month that Takata submit a safety recall report "that unequivocally states that a defect exists in the subject driver's side".
Also Wednesday, Japan's auto safety watchdog said a Takata airbag removed from a scrapped car exploded earlier this year, shooting out shrapnel but no one was injured. Toyota later confirmed that it had produced the 2003 model year car.
Takata's shares -- which fell nearly five percent on Thursday in Tokyo -- have plunged in the wake of the crisis with an executive from the 81-year-old company grilled over the issue at US hearings last week.
Hiroshi Shimizu, Takata's senior vice president for global quality assurance, said his company took responsibility for three deaths related to what he labelled "anomalies" in its airbags.
But he did not expand that acceptance of responsibility to a broader series of airbags installed for at least a decade in millions of cars. Shimizu is due back in Washington to testify again on December 3.


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