Potentially defective Takata bag inflators shipped also to Subaru, Mitsubishi

DETROIT Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:42am EDT

A man walks past a sign board of Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corp's Annual General Meeting in Tokyo June 26, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

A man walks past a sign board of Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corp's Annual General Meeting in Tokyo June 26, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Yuya Shino

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DETROIT (Reuters) - Takata Corp (7312.T), the Japanese auto parts maker, said potentially defective air bag inflators, that could explode with too much force, were also shipped to Japanese automakers Subaru and Mitsubishi Motors Corp (7211.T).

Last week, seven other automakers said they were recalling vehicles in high-humidity regions of the United States at the request of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to see if faulty air bag inflators supplied by Takata had been installed in their vehicles.

Takata said in a letter to U.S. safety regulators dated June 25 that after further reviewing its records, "we have determined that two additional vehicle manufacturers received some of the covered inflators." Takata cited the two Japanese automakers in its letter, posted on an NHTSA website.

Takata's U.S. spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment. Officials with Subaru, owned by Fuji Heavy Industries (7270.T), and Mitsubishi, had no immediate comment.

NHTSA opened an investigation earlier this month into whether Takata inflators that were made after 2002 were prone to fail, and whether driving in high humidity contributed toward a risk of air bag explosions.

In a June 11 letter to the NHTSA, Takata said it would support "regional campaigns" to replace certain driver-side air bag inflators made between January 2004 and June 2007, as well as certain passenger-side inflators made between June 2000 and July 2004. But Takata did not admit there was any "safety defect" in the air bags.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman and Bernie Woodall in Detroit; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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