With the investigation into air-bag inflators by Takata and the recall to more than 35 million car units, the Japanese car maker Toyota is searching for new sources.
Toyota is among the first companies in the car industry to find an alternative for Takata air-bags.
The Takata incident resulted in the biggest automotive recall in the history, with more than 10 car manufacturers recalling millions of vehicles produced by since 2008 in order to replace the problematic air-bags.
Toyota was among the first to look for a new supplier, as the Japanese company has struck a deal with Nippon Kayaku to increase production. Takata was among the world’s leaders in production of air-bags. Nippon Kayaku is a second tier company that doesn’t produce as high amounts of air-bags as Takata, but according to sources in Toyota, they can satisfy the needs of the Japanese car maker.
According to the deal, Nippon will supply Toyota with more than 13 million air-bag inflators starting from July 2016 to July 2020. The move is the most proactive move by any car manufacturer.
The Takata incident started when the company was linked with eight deaths, and more than 100 people injured after having an accident in which the air-bag exploded and sprayed shrapnel inside the car. The cost of the recall will cost car makers millions.
At the moment, not all companies have recalled their cars, but lawmakers in the US are pushing for an even bigger recall. A new investigation can further expand the recall, as law makers are now looking into the side air-bag inflators as well. Previously, the passenger and the driver’s air bags were under scrutiny.
The investigation started following an event in June, when a Volkswagen Tiguan hit a deer and the side air bag of the driver inflated with excessive force. Volkswagen informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on July 15 and last week, the agency asked further information from both Volkswagen and Takata. The two companies have until August 24 to respond.
The pressure is on Takata and other car makers, as two senators in the US Senate called the supplier to recall all vehicles with the troublesome air-bags. The demand could affect more than 50 million units in the US alone.
Toyota is the first company to take precautionary switch, but it won’t come cheap for the Japanese company. According to sources, the switch will cost Toyota between $100 and $150 million. The company has already recalled 12 million vehicles with the troublesome air-bags.