Air Bag Recall Pressure Builds; Takata Remains Defiant

by David Shepardson, The Detroit News

ntr23 / Flickr

ntr23 / Flickr

Washington — The pressure on automakers to expand recalls of Takata air bags intensified Wednesday, as Honda Motor Co. agreed to a U.S. government request to expand nationwide its recall of driver-side air bags and Chrysler Group LLC said it will recall an additional 149,150 pickups, but stopped far short of the broader U.S. recall request.

And late Wednesday, Ford Motor Co. said it would expand its regional air bag recall by 13,000 vehicles.

Their actions took place even as the defiant Takata Corp. refused Wednesday to extend a nationwide recall of driver-side air bags, despite a demand by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Japanese auto supplier came under harsh criticism at a congressional hearing because of its refusal.

Inflators in the Takata bags can explode and shoot metal shrapnel at drivers and passengers. At least four people in Hondas have been killed and 30 injured in the U.S., mostly in high-humidity areas like Florida.

Honda said it would work with two other major suppliers — Auotliv and Daicel — to ramp up production to meet growing demand for replacement parts. The automaker did not disclose how many vehicles will be impacted by the latest callback. But since 2013, 10 automakers have recalled more than 7.8 million vehicles in the United States for problems with the air bags.

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