August 25, 2015 / 8:39 AM / 3 years ago

Toyota says testing potential alternatives to Takata air-bag inflators

A woman walks under a logo of Toyota Motor Corp at the company's showroom in Tokyo, Japan, August 4, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp said on Tuesday it is testing air-bag inflators made by Autoliv and Nippon Kayaku Co as possible alternatives to potentially lethal parts supplied by Takata Corp.

A spokeswoman for Japan’s biggest automaker said the company wanted to ensure the parts were compatible with its vehicles before using them.

Reuters had last week reported that Toyota would buy 13 million inflators from Nippon Kayaku to reduce its risk from Takata’s airbags, which are at the center of the biggest global vehicle recall for decades.

“(Inflators) are not like stationery, which can be simply swapped. We need to test them first and make sure they’re safe,” the spokeswoman said.

Swedish-American firm Autoliv already supplies parts to Honda Motor Co. An Autoliv spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment while a spokesman for Nippon Kayaku declined to comment.

Toyota already uses inflators by Daicel Corp, which it has determined to be safe.

The company is one of several global automakers trying to find alternatives to Takata’s air-bag inflators, which have been linked to eight deaths and more than 100 injuries after exploding with excessive force and spraying shrapnel inside vehicles.

More than 10 automakers have recalled tens of millions of vehicles since 2008 over safety concerns linked to the airbags.

Editing by William Mallard and Miral Fahmy

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