Honda adds to Takata air bag recalls; global tally now around 36 million

Thu May 14, 2015 10:33am EDT
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By Maki Shiraki and Mari Saito

TOKYO (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co (7267.T: Quote) on Thursday recalled close to 5 million vehicles fitted with potentially faulty Takata Corp (7312.T: Quote) air bag inflators, as investigations showed the problem behind one of the biggest auto safety crises may be more widespread than thought.

The latest move by Japan's third largest automaker brings the overall global total of vehicles recalled for Takata-related air bags to around 36 million since 2008, and comes a day after Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote) and Nissan Motor Co (7201.T: Quote) recalled 6.5 million vehicles worldwide.

Daihatsu Motors Co Ltd 7262.T said it recalled nearly 260,000 cars.

Honda said it decided to recall the cars after finding some Takata bag inflators were not sealed properly, allowing moisture to seep into the propellent casing that could make the air bag explode with excessive force, shooting shrapnel inside the vehicle.

Six deaths have been linked to defective air bags, all on cars made by Honda, which has borne the brunt of the Takata recalls to date, and which posted disappointing profit forecasts last month citing high quality-related costs.

Automakers have been conducting their own investigations into Takata air bags.

Most of Takata's previous recalls were to replace air bags made at factories in the United States and Mexico where moisture got into the casing, the company and automakers have said.

"While we are not able to determine the cause of the problems there is a possibility there will be more recalls," said Honda spokesman Teruhiko Tatebe.   Continued...

Takata Corp's company plate is seen at an entrance of the building where the Takata Corp headquarters is located in Tokyo in this December 9, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/Files