Honda adds 21M vehicles to Takata airbag recall

Honda adds 21M vehicles to Takata airbag recall

Honda is reportedly preparing to nearly double its global Takata recall campaign, reflecting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s order to replace all ammonium-nitrate inflators that lack a drying agent.

The government’s push for a broader recall appears to be particularly consequential for Honda, forcing the company to fix at least 21 million additional vehicles globally, according to a New York Times report citing a statement by a senior executive. Adding in the previously identified defective components, the automaker now expects to replace inflators in 51 million vehicles.

Takata will bear only some of the costs, driving Honda to a $119 million loss for its fiscal year concluding at the end of March. The financial impact will presumably deepen as the companies identify additional models that require new airbags.

All of the campaigns trace back to ammonium nitrate, a controversial propellant that can degrade when exposed to moisture over time. Rather than making the chemical inert or less powerful, water actually causes it too explode with a higher pressure that, in some cases, is strong enough to rupture the inflator casing and send shrapnel through the cabin.

The defect has been blamed on at least a dozen deaths globally. Two of the most recent incidents involved decade-old Honda vehicles in Malaysia.

Honda has not yet confirmed how many additional vehicles are expected to be recalled in the US market, though the number could represent a significant portion of the 21 million cited in the latest report.

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