Takata airbag-related vehicle recalls likely to continue

Monday, Jul 13, 2015

Recalls related to Japanese airbag maker Takata, which have been staggered out over the past three years, may continue for the next 12 to 18 months as global disclosures dictate local recall policies, say top auto industry sources.

Auto executives say Takata-related recalls are part of the global recall programmes of each car maker and all decisions pertaining to them are taken globally.

"It all depends on whether more disclosures come in covering new batches of vehicles," said a senior executive in one of the global car makers which has announced Takata-related recalls in the past one year. "It is driven by our parent as part of a global recall programme. Takata recalls are not local decisions."

Takata's massive global recall programme has already led to several batches of cars being recalled in India as well.

Arun Malhotra, MD, Nissan Motor India, said: "Recall is seen as a proactive customer-sensitive action. This is an initiative that's undertaken if you have the slightest doubt. We have had one set of recalls and there's nothing more in the pipeline. Takata is globally a very big company and among the most well-known names in its segment."

Around ten days ago, Nissan recalled 12,000 units of its models in India, including the Sunny sedan and the Micra small car. The recall, part of the company's global effort to rectify engine switch and airbags, affects cars manufactured between June 2013 and March 2015 in India.

Fellow MNC major Toyota too has just announced a recall last week covering over 7,100 units of its Corolla sedan manufactured between April 2007 till June 2008 and also a few cars produced between June 2008 and July 2008.

Shekar Viswanathan, vice-chairman and whole time director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said: "Expansion of the existing service campaign is being held voluntarily by Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM). TKM confirms that no complaints have been received in India so far and this campaign has been extended in line with Toyota's global practices. With this service campaign, the inflators which are to be replaced will be identified. If further actions are found to be necessary during the ongoing investigations, TKM will continue taking them promptly."

So far companies like Honda, Nissan and Toyota have initiated several rounds of recalls though the Takata impact is much less in India because airbags are not mandatory in Indian vehicles. A month-and-a-half ago, Takata announced the biggest recall in American history covering 34 million vehicles in the US with potentially defective airbags.

The recall has had a ripple effect in India as well with companies launching proactive recalls connected to the Takata airbags.

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