Prediction: Takata to end North American airbag production and sales
I’ve covered in length the Takata airbag conspiracy and its impact on Honda Motor Company; an institution that I personally hold near and dear. Today I go way out on a limb and predict that Takata will end production of automotive safety airbags in North America by Q2 2015.
Here’s my logic
This situation goes far beyond Honda Motors. Honda was recently in the news for possibly underreporting death and injury relating to faulty Takata airbag systems. looking back a few months I reported on Honda’s rash of airbag controller recalls. The recall at that time was very specific to the replacement of control circuitry possibly corroded by humid climate conditions and salt air corrosion. The dialog now addresses Takata’s negligence in handling explosive airbag propellent gases.
Honda as policy offered to replace affected systems at no cost to the consumer, that voluntary gesture has cost Honda $ millions.
To date 6 million Hondas have been voluntarily recalled for faulty Takata airbag systems.That number pales in comparison to industry wide totals involving every major domestic and import automotive manufacturers in North America.
Honor demands the removal of Takata
Sadly I was contacted by more than one reader in the matter of a airbag related death. In one case the bag did not deploy in the impact rollover of a Mercedes Benz, a young passenger was killed in the tragic accident. While this was not connected to a rash of recent lawsuits stemming from shrapnel injuries. I was congratulated by an anonymous Japanese reader for my bravery in speaking my mind. While the tragedy reported was not mine, I felt more than a bit threatened by the broad implications of the compliment.
U.S. Senators Blumenthal and Markey call for more definitive action
There's no get around the fact that Takata has dropped the ball on R&D and massive volume manufacturing quality control; Takata doesn’t deny this fact. The recall numbers and the impact on corporate reputation, consumer inconvenience, time wasted and related death and injury is appalling and unacceptable. Unfortunately for Takata there is no margin of error when it comes to consumer safety. I can’t imagine anything more terrifying than surviving a head on, multiple car or roll-over accident only to be grievously injured or killed by a faulty airbag.
The short list, 30 million and counting
GM, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan,Toyota cars and light trucks have been impacted by possible Takata manufactured airbag recall in 2014.
While I believe in “less government” when it comes to keeping foreign owned corporations in check, government intervention may be warranted. Note: Death or injury by airbag is exceptionally rare. However, most consumers(like myself) believe that one death by faulty airbag system is too many.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan and Aschaffenburg, Germany.Takata plastics manufactures Airbag systems, child restraint systems, interior trims, seat belts, steering wheels and related electronics. Employing 46,000 world-wide, Takata manufactures and distributes through 17 regional hubs. A pioneer in automotive safety development, Takata has lost its credibility in North America through unprecedented and soon to be government mandated product recall measures. You may contact Takata and voice your opinion at: WWW.Takata.Com