Takata says willing to support certain air bag inflator replacements

TOKYO Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:02am EDT

A Logo of Takata Corp is seen outside the company's headquarters in Tokyo April 12, 2013. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

A Logo of Takata Corp is seen outside the company's headquarters in Tokyo April 12, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Yuya Shino

TOKYO (Reuters) - Takata Corp said it is willing to support car makers replacing certain air bag inflators made between 2000 and 2007 that were supplied to multiple car makers, including Honda Motor Co and Toyota Motor Corp, for vehicles sold in the United States.

The world's second-biggest automotive safety parts maker said in a letter, dated June 11, to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it will support replacements of certain driver-side air bag inflators made between January 1, 2004 and June 30, 2007, as well as certain passenger side inflators made between June 2000 and July 31, 2004.

Besides Honda and Toyota, Takata said that it believes these inflators were also supplied to BMW, Chrysler, Ford Motor Co, Mazda Motor Corp, Nissan Motor Co and Toyota Motor Corp.

The company said that, if automakers agree, it will support the replacement of those inflators in vehicles in high humid areas of Puerto Rico, Florida, Hawaii and the Virgin Islands.

Last year, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda and BMW recalled around 4 million vehicles globally over flawed air bag inflators, made by Takata, that are at risk of exploding and shooting out shrapnel at passengers and drivers. Takata has attributed the flaw to manufacturing problems.

That came on top of seven earlier recalls for similar problems by Honda since November 2008.

Takata also said in the letter that "neither Takata nor the vehicle manufacturers conducting these field actions would be expected to admit that its product contain such a (safety) defect," saying currently available information does not indicate so.

(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Michael Perry)