Honda, Toyota Call for Third-Party Tests of Takata Airbags

Honda to expand recall to driver-side airbags.

Toyota and Honda want to expand the investigation of the Takata airbag inflator recall by asking other automakers to join in on a collaborative effort to research and test solutions for the ongoing crisis.

So far, the crisis has focused on passenger-side airbags, but Honda today announced it will expand its recall to possible faulty driver-side airbags. Automotive News reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is demanding Takata also expand its recall to driver-side inflators, but the company says it’s not necessary. NHTSA gave Takata until Tuesday to expand the recall.

In a statement released yesterday, Toyota said that a joint effort involving multiple automakers would help in finding a thorough solution to the faulty Takata airbag inflators. The automaker suggests that third-party testing would improve current efforts in identifying the faulty inflators.

“The safety, security, and peace of mind for our customers are our highest priority, and I believe this is shared with all the other automakers. That is what this initiative is all about,” said Simon Nagata, CEO of Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America, in a statement. “Together we will be better equipped to address this issue more rapidly for all customers.”

The massive recall involves over 17 million cars that were produced from 2000 to 2014, with 11 million of those cars located in the U.S. Other manufacturers involved include BMW, Nissan, and General Motors. When deployed, the faulty airbags can explode and spray shrapnel throughout the cabin, causing injury or death to passengers. Globally, at least five deaths and over 100 injuries are linked to the faulty airbags.

Honda made a similar announcement, and is asking Takata to support the effort by providing the necessary data to complete the research.