Reuters logo
U.S. regulator orders national Takata driver-side air bag recall
November 26, 2014 / 5:22 PM / in 3 years

U.S. regulator orders national Takata driver-side air bag recall

DETROIT (Reuters) - The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Wednesday ordered air bag supplier Takata Corp 7312.T to expand its regional recall of driver-side air bags to cover the entire United States.

Takata Corporation Senior Vice President for Global Quality Assurance Hiroshi Shimizu waits to testify before a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing on "Examining Takata Airbag Defects and the Vehicle Recall Process" in Washington November 20, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Such a nationwide recall would affect vehicles made by five automakers: Ford Motor Co (F.N); Honda Motor Co (7267.T); Chrysler Group LLC, a unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCHA.MI) (FCAU.N); Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T) and BMW AG (BMWG.DE).

NHTSA gave Takata until Tuesday to issue a recall. If the company does not, NHTSA “may begin proceedings” leading to fines for the Japanese air bag supplier of up to $7,000 per vehicle that the U.S. road safety regulator says should have been recalled.

But NHTSA is limited and cannot fine a company more than $35 million. The U.S. Department of Transportation which includes NHTSA, has asked Congress to raise that limit to $300 million.

Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) displays shrapnel holes of a Honda steering wheel airbag, made by Takata, before chairing a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing on "Examining Takata Airbag Defects and the Vehicle Recall Process." in Washington November 20, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

The letter follows a Nov. 18 press conference in which NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman said the regulator would tell Takata to issue a nationwide recall for driver-side air bags made by the five automakers.

NHTSA has made no estimate of the number of vehicles that would be included in such an expanded recall. The regional recalls have involved about 4.1 million vehicles.

A logo of Takata Corp is seen through a car window outside the company's headquarters in Tokyo April 12, 2013. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

A letter from NHTSA to Takata Senior Vice President Kazuo Higuchi obtained by Reuters said Takata’s previous recall limited to areas of high humidity should be expanded because of incidents reported in California and North Carolina that are outside of the initial regional recall area.

Takata has resisted expanding the recall for driver-side air bags beyond the initial regional “high humidity” area.

Takata’s U.S. spokesman said on Wednesday that the company had no immediate comment to the NHTSA letter.

Reporting by Bernie Woodall, editing by G Crosse

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below