Honda Motor Co. has expanded its recall of vehicles with Takata Corp. air bags yet again, adding 1.63 million vehicles in Japan and bringing the total number of recalled vehicles to 24.5 million.
The recall is Honda’s third largest this year and an expansion of a May recall.
Seventeen models are affected. Honda has expanded the model years to include those manufactured between 2007 and 2011. Honda said it doesn’t believe there is any danger with vehicles manufactured after 2012.
Honda has not announced the cause of the recall, but previous recalls involved airbags exploding with too much force and sending shrapnel into the car.
"We apologize deeply for the great problems we have caused our customers," Honda said in a statement. "We will continue to investigate the cause of the air-bag problem."
An addition 2.87 vehicles are expected to be recalls in other Asian nations, but the countries have yet to be notified.
Ten automakers have been affected by the Takata recall, but Honda has seen the brunt of it. The recall is the largest in the auto industry.
There have been eight deaths and 130 injuries linked to the defect, although none related to this month’s recall.
Earlier this month, Nissan Motor Corp. reported its first injury related to a Takata airbag. A Japanese driver in a 2001 X-Trail sports utility vehicle was burned when an airbag exploded, sending hot fragments into the car and breaking the passenger-side window.
Takata’s president apologized at a June press conference for the deaths and injuries. The company had previously apologized in the media and press releases.
The company said it does not know how long it will take to find the source of the problem.
In the United States, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said he believes Takata should set up a victims’ compensation fund.
It is unknown whether Honda will continue to use Takata airbags. Honda owns 1.2% of Takata.
Meanwhile, Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo told reporters sales in China have dropped compared to 2014 after the Chinese stock market dropped sharply.
Hachigo was head of Honda’s Chinese subsidiary before becoming chief executive.
China is the world’s largest auto market.
Hachigo is confident sales for this fiscal year, which ends in March 2016, will be stronger.
Young buyers are seen as a source of growth in the Chinese market.
Key Statistics – Chinese New Car Market (source: MarketLine)
- In 2014, the new-car market in China had revenue totaling $466 billion. Between 2010-2014, this represented a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17%.
- Between 2010-2014, market consumption volume grew at a CAGR of 9%. In 2014, it reached 19 million units.
- The market’s performance is forecasted to slow. For the five-year period 2014-2019, a CAGR of 9% is anticipated. By the end of 2019, the market is expected to be valued at $727 billion.