Fri, Jun 26, 2015 - Page 15 News List

Toyota, Nissan to recall more than 3 million more cars

AFP, TOKYO

Takata chairman and president Shigehisa Takata, center, and chief financial officer Yoichiro Nomura, right, bow at a press conference in Tokyo yesterday after a shareholders’ meeting.

Photo: AFP

Japan’s two top automakers, Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, yesterday said they would recall more than 3 million more cars globally because of concerns over airbags involved in eight deaths worldwide.

“Toyota will now globally expand its recalls to involve approximately 2,860,000 additional vehicles equipped with certain front passenger airbag inflators,” the automaker said in an e-mail.

Nissan said it would recall 198,000 units worldwide, while Mitsubishi Motors also said it would call back 120,000 vehicles.

Airbags made by Japanese parts maker Takata Corp have sparked a global recall crisis for many automakers.

Toyota alone says a total 12.66 million units are now affected, but Honda Motor Co, Japan’s No. 3 automaker, has been the hardest hit, with more than 19 million vehicles recalled globally.

Tokyo-based Takata last month agreed to double a US recall to a record total of more than 30 million vehicles made by some of the world’s biggest automakers.

The defect — thought to be linked to a chemical propellant that helps inflate the airbags — can cause them to deploy with explosive force, sending metal shrapnel hurtling toward drivers and passengers.

Hours before the additional recalls were reported, Takata held a shareholders’ meeting in Tokyo, where executives bowed in apology for the plunging stock price and lack of dividend for investors, shareholders said.

The company originally planned to air the meeting live on the Internet, but abruptly canceled it.

“It wasn’t satisfactory at all. I would give it 50 points out 100,” said shareholder Hiromi Tamura, 60, as he emerged from the closed-door meeting. “There is no clear prospect [for resolution]. I don’t think they are confident in themselves either.”

Another shareholder, 71-year-old Shizuo Sakaguchi, said: “The responses by the company are unacceptable. Many shareholders were asking what specific measures the firm is going to take.”

A senior Takata executive told US lawmakers this month that the company — one of the world’s biggest airbag makers — was still searching for the main cause of deadly explosions.

Takata chairman and chief executive Shigehisa Takada’s appearance at a press conference yesterday afternoon was his first public appearance since the airbag crisis hit.

On Monday, Honda confirmed a new death linked to an exploding airbag crisis, bringing the global total to eight fatalities.

The company said a woman in Los Angeles died in September last year after the faulty inflator in a 2001 Honda Civic ruptured, firing metal shrapnel at her.

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