By on November 25, 2014

Takata Airbag Cutaway

Even if the federal government compels every automaker that uses Takata’s airbags to enter into a nationwide recall order, and even if Honda got its wish by having the government mandate every owner affected to bring their vehicles in for repair, fixing the mess created by the supplier could take as long as two years or more.

Automotive News reports Takata will increase production of replacement inflators from 300,000 per month to 450,000, an increase that could supply the entirety of the 10 million vehicles under recall in two years’ time. Meanwhile, backup from competitors AutoLiv and TRW Automotive could take that long just to have their replacements tested prior to lending aid to the supplier.

Further, some automakers — like BMW, Ford and Mazda — would have a hard time replacing Takata units with those from the other suppliers, citing design and resource issues. Should the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration find a way, however, the agency can make those automakers “to break exclusivity agreements, to share proprietary information,” per Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who reminded outgoing deputy administrator David Friedman of this fact during testimony before Congress last week.

For now, the supply bottleneck is off in the distance, mainly due to consumers not bringing in their vehicles for repairs at a clip that would strain the supply chain. That could change with a nationwide recall, however.

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4 Comments on “Supply Issues Slow Takata Airbag Recall Action...”

  • avatar

    How does a company survive like that? If you’re pumping out 450k airbags a month, simply to have them put in recalled vehicles, are you making any money on those at all? And wouldn’t all of your customers, ie, car manufacturers, move to another supplier after this? According to Wikipedia, Takata holds ~20 percent of the airbag market, so it’s not like another supplier doesn’t exist.

    That’s what bothers me the most: We have a company who clearly produced a terrible product that’s killed people, but we never hear (or at least I don’t) about “Honda making the decision to use Brand X, instead of that brand that killed those people”.

  • avatar

    If I had an affected car in a high humidity area and no prospect of a quick fix, I’d be looking for instructions on how to disarm, uh, I mean, disable, the Claymore.

  • avatar

    “For now, the supply bottleneck is off in the distance, mainly due to consumers not bringing in their vehicles for repairs at a clip that would strain the supply chain.”

    Source? This certainly isn’t true for me. No dealers in my area have parts.

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