U.S. auto safety regulators have ordered Japanese safety equipment manufacturer Takata Corp and five automakers to expand recalls of cars which had Takata airbags in them. The companies ordered to expand recalls include Honda, Chrysler, BMW, Mazda and Ford.
Already, nearly 16 million cars from around the globe have been recalled over the issue of faulty Takata airbags in the past 6 years. Of these, nearly 11 million are from the U.S. alone. The pressure of expanding regional recalls of millions of more cars with potentially lethal Takata airbags in them is rising.
Earlier, Takata and the five automakers had followed a targeted approach in recalling vehicles from the U.S. market. As a result, NHTSA has scolded Takata for its unwillingness in moving forward and expanding recalls. NHTSA also said that Takata needs to be open with the public in the U.S. about the risk their air bags can pose.
The targeted regional recalls involved more than 4 million cars from hot and humid regions of the U.S. where proximity of failure of the air bags was highest. The states which were covered by the recall included Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, and some parts of Texas. Most cars from this recall were made by Honda, Takata’s biggest client.
In U.S., five fatalities have been observed so far have been linked to faulty air bags. Answering reporter’s answers about the ongoing recalls, NHTSA’sdeputy administrator declined to answer exactly how many more cars will be covered by the recall.
The recalls have taken a huge toll on Takata’s shares. They dropped by as much as 7.8 percent on Wednesday. Overall, the shares have dropped down by 64% this year, a condition that is the company’s worst in the past 5.5 years.