Honda Takata saga continues

Honda is recalling around 1.63 million more cars in Japan to replace air bag inflators made by supplier Takata and around 4.5 million more cars globally, due to continuing fears over the potentially deadly defect.

At least eight deaths, all in Honda cars, have been linked to the airbag inflator, which can deploy with too much force spraying metal shrapnel through the cabin.

Globally, tens of millions of cars with Takata airbags have been recalled since 2008, the majority of which have been in the US.

Other brands that have issued recalls include Toyota, Nissan, General Motors and BMW.

However, Honda has been hardest hit with 24.5 million cars recalled, which equates to more than half of the global total.

A Honda spokesman in Tokyo told AFP news agency that the carmaker had found some airbag inflators had ‘uneven gas density, which we worry could do some harm’. ‘It is a preventive measure and unlike other normal recalls we are not waiting for the full results of the research.’ Honda is recalling about 1.63 million cars in Japan alone. The carmaker told the Reuters news agency that North America was not included in the latest recall.

This announcement comes after Nissan announced its first case of injuries sustained from a Takata airbag deployment. The airbag inflated and exploded in the passenger side of an X-Trail sport utility vehicle involved in a car crash in Iwata in central Japan on 25 June.

Nissan said the passenger side window was smashed and high-temperature fragments were sent flying into the dashboard. The driver’s left cheek was lightly burnt, although it remains unclear whether this was caused by the explosion.

Takata is currently facing multiple class action lawsuits and criminal and regulatory investigations in the US.