Text: Vince Pornelos / Photos: Vince Pornelos | posted November 06, 2015 14:19
Future of auto safety equipment company in question after losing biggest customer
Takata Corporation has just been dealt a huge blow in relation to the airbag defect crisis.
The Honda Motor Company, undoubtedly Takata's largest customer for airbag inflators, has recently announced that they will no longer use Takata airbags in future cars. The announcement comes after Honda concluded that Takata “misrepresented and manipulated test data.”
The equipment in question refers to devices built by Takata that uses a small charge to rapidly inflate an airbag and prevent injury in the event of a collision. Some of Takata's airbag inflators have been found to crack and rupture, sending metal debris into the cabin. Independent tests have found that the propellant, ammonium nitrate, was the cause. Sources indicate that the airbag issue is linked to 8 deaths and about 100 injuries
The US National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration slapped Takata with a fine amounting to $70 million due to their failure to disclose the defects in their airbag inflators.
Honda is the largest customer for Takata's airbag inflators and is also a stakeholder in the company. It has also been reported that Mazda will no longer use Takata airbags that use ammonium nitrate, while Subaru (Fuji Heavy Industries) and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation are also considering dropping Takata.