Honda, Nissan Widen Air-Bag Recalls After Japan Junkyard Rupture

December 11, 2014

Honda Motor Co. (7267) and Nissan Motor Co. (7201) followed Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) in widening their air-bag recalls in Japan after one of the devices made by Takata Corp. (7312) ruptured in a junked car.

Honda will recall an additional 171,830 cars, including the Fit compact, while Nissan will replace air bags in 82,951 vehicles including the Presage multi-purpose vehicle, according to a transportation ministry statement. Nissan and Honda are looking into how many vehicles may also need to be recalled outside Japan, said Mamoru Nishimura, a transportation ministry official.

The latest recalls will add to the roughly 13 million cars that Honda, Takata’s biggest customer, has called back globally. Takata air bags that can deploy with too much force and spew metal parts at motorists have been linked to five fatalities in Honda cars, including four in the U.S. and a pregnant woman and her unborn child in Malaysia.

Today’s recalls are the result of a ruptured air bag in a 2003 Toyota WiLL Cypha that shattered the subcompact’s windshield during dismantling at a scrapyard in Japan’s central Gifu prefecture last month, Nishimura said.

While Toyota is still examining the cause, carmakers have decided to call back the vehicles to make sure similar incidents won’t occur with vehicles in use. Toyota said last week it would call back about 190,000 autos in Japan and China, including the Corolla model.

(Bloomberg News)