March 23, 2015 / 7:43 AM / in 3 years

Honda hires U.S. engineering firm Exponent to probe Takata air bags

TOKYO (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co (7267.T) has hired Exponent, a U.S.-based engineering consulting company enlisted by Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) during its recall crisis in 2010, to investigate the cause of ruptures in some air bags made by Takata Corp 7312.T.

A man looking at the interior of Honda Motor Co's N-BOX SLASH vehicle is reflected in a side mirror of a car displayed at the company showroom in Tokyo January 30, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

The hiring of Exponent was first reported by Japan’s Jiji News on Monday and confirmed by a Honda spokesman in Tokyo.

A consortium of 10 automakers led by Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) and which includes Honda has separately commissioned engineering firm Orbital ATK to conduct independent testing of Takata’s air bag inflators, which can rupture with too much force, shooting metal shards into vehicles. Six deaths have been linked to the problem so far, all on Honda cars.

About 25 million vehicles with Takata air bags have been recalled worldwide since 2008.

Reporting by Maki Shiraki; Writing by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Miral Fahmy

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