Takata is getting ready to recall another 35 million airbag inflators, as the Japanese company is in talks with US regulators.
An announcement is expected to be made as early as this week and the new number will add up to the current recall of over 28 million airbag inflators, which are affecting roughly 24 million cars produced by more than a dozen automakers in what turned out to be the world’s largest safety recall.
“Takata is working with regulators and our auto maker customers to develop long-term, orderly solutions to these important safety issues. We strongly urge all consumers to check NHTSA’s www.safercar.gov website and contact their dealers immediately if they discover their vehicle is subject to a recall“, said a Takata spokesman, quoted by WallStreetJournal.
Recalling approximately 50 million vehicles has been estimated by CreditSuisse to cost Takata some $3.5 billion, according to AutoNews, leaving the company’s future under question.
The Japanese firm was fined by US regulators for $70 million last November and was ordered to stop using ammonium nitrate in airbag inflators, but the penalty could go up to $200 million if Takata is flagged for other infractions. Settling legal claims for victims of airbag ruptures and covering recall-related costs has made the supplier disclose another $189 million in financial loss throughout the fiscal year that ended on March 31.
Exploding airbags have claimed 11 lives globally, including 10 in the United States, and more than 100 have been injured. The last victim was a 17-year old girl, who rear-ended another vehicle with her 2002 Honda Civic, in Texas, triggering the airbags that sent shrapnel towards her neck, killing her on the spot.