Honda Motor Co. said two fatal crashes in Malaysia involved ruptured airbag inflators made by Takata Corp., bringing the global number of deaths linked to the defective devices to 13 as the U.S. ordered the Japanese supplier to widen the scale of its recalls.
Honda Motor President Takanobu Ito said he will step down and named Takahiro Hachigo, an r&d executive with wide international experience as his replacement, following a string of quality lapses that spurred a round of internal reforms.
Honda, Nissan and Mitsubishi will recall more than half a million cars globally to replace airbag inflators made by Takata. The recalls correspond with a similar, precautionary recall by Toyota last week after a recent “unusual deployment” of a passenger-side airbag at a scrap yard in Japan.
The recall storm embroiling Takata Corp.’s airbags widened today with Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. calling back nearly 3 million vehicles to fix possibly defective inflator propellant made in North America.
A number of car factories are at risk of closure because of overcapacity in the European auto industry. PSA/Peugeot-Citroen’s factory in Rennes, France, and Honda’s plant in Gebze, Turkey, are highest on the list, according to France-based research firm Inovev, which estimates that each plant’s capacity usage was below 30 percent last year.
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