Honda New Zealand and Honda Australia have both announced a recall of certain models affected by the faulty Takata airbags. This follows a recall of over 100 million cars worldwide after 16 deaths and 180 injuries.
Honda New Zealand has advised on its website that New Zealand-new Honda Civic, Jazz, Accord Euro, CR-V, Insight, and City may contain faulty driver or front seat passenger airbags, and a “limited number” will have the airbags recalled. Honda Australia submitted a recall notice to Product Safety Australia on January 23, specifying that Euro, City, Jazz and Insight models manufactured in 2012 contained affected vehicles.
Honda national service manager Bryan Davis said, “The driver and front-seat passenger-airbag inflators of all affected vehicles will be replaced with a new part as a precautionary measure. Honda New Zealand has not received any reports of incidents in New Zealand where airbags in vehicles affected by the recall might have deployed abnormally.” Car owners, who have been identified through registration data, will be contacted directly by Honda New Zealand.
Honda New Zealand is also investigating second-hand, Japanese-used imported Honda vehicles that might also be affected by the airbag recall. The owners of these cars will also be contacted by Honda. Those who wish to know if their car is affected can check via their VIN or registration here.
Germany’s transport minister Alexander Dobrindt has said he wants to pull Fiat models that breach emissions regulations from the market, according to German newspaper Bild am Sonntag. “The Italian authorities have known for several months that Fiat, in the opinion of our experts, uses illegal shut-off devices,” he claimed. The European Commission has expressed concern that the Fiat 500X hatchback in particular has been fitted with software that throttles the emissions treatment system during regulation testing to pass the current threshold.
This comes just days after the US Justice Department announced an investigation into Fiat Chrysler, the American arm of the company. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, said in a statement, that he is “deeply troubled” by the EPA findings and will work with state and federal agencies to investigate claims against Fiat Chrysler. Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has condemned all allegations as “absolute nonsense” in a press conference, and said his company never attempted to cheat emissions rules by detecting when the vehicle was in test mode.
Both branches of investigation have hit the Fiat Chrysler hard in the markets. US-listed shares dropped 10 per cent at the news and Milan-listed shares 16 per cent, making only modest gains on Monday. If either the European Commission or the US Justice Department prove that emissions rules were violated, Fiat Chrysler could face fines of $(USD)44,539 per vehicle.
There are no plans to halt Fiat sales in the US. Both the petrol and diesel 500X models are not available in New Zealand, but Fiat is still taking expressions of interest from prospective buyers on their local website.
The US Justice Department announced on January 13 that safety-equipment supplier Takata will plead guilty to criminal misconduct and pay $1.4 billion in penalties. Takata’s defective airbags were linked to at least 16 deaths and over 180 injuries worldwide. The Wall Street Journal reported that Takata is expected to agree to come up with the settlement either within a year or when it secures a financial backer.
Three executives, Shinichi Tanaka, Hideo Nakajima and Tsuneo Chikaraishi, have also been charged with fabricating test data to hide a fatal airbag defect, according to Reuters. It was revealed that the Takata executives knew as early as 2000 that the airbag inflators were explosive under certain conditions. “For more than a decade, Takata repeatedly and systematically falsified critical test data related to the safety of its products, putting profits and production schedules ahead of safety,” said Andrew Weissmann, head of the Justice Department’s fraud section.
Shares in Takata rose 17 per cent (once news of the settlement had become public), closing on Friday at 707 yen, or $(US)6.12. Reuters reported in November that Takata was considering a bankruptcy filing for its US unit while looking for a sponsor to cover liabilities for the faulty airbags. Several companies have expressed interest, according to the Nikkei Review, although an announcement has yet to be made. Recall liabilities are expected to top $14 billion.
Recalls for faulty airbags began in 2013, with 3.4 million cars initially affected, and has rapidly expanded. Over 100 million vehicles were recalled worldwide across over a dozen car manufacturers, including Honda, Toyota and BMW. A Fair Go investigation found over 300,000 cars were affected in New Zealand, with many faulty airbags still to be replaced.
Takata stock slumped by as much as 8.8 per cent after a Japanese day trader told his 103,000 Twitter followers that he had sold his shares.
The slump was the biggest intraday decline since November 9 and finished the day down 7.5 percent in Tokyo.
The trader, known as CIS, sold all the Takata shares he’d purchased three weeks ago and estimated that his Takata trade, involving about 800,000 shares, had netted a pretax gain of about $1.2 million.
According to automotivenews.com, Takata had climbed to the highest since January 29 at Tuesday’s close of business.
CIS began his Takata trade when the shares rose, after reports that it’s US subsidiary was planning to file for bankruptcy. “The stock rose even after a piece of really bad news came out,” he told Automotive News. “For me that’s a sign of strong demand.”
he said that he sold the shares because they had stopped rising once a potential sale to Autoliv or Key Safety was beginning to progress.
The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has announced a reduced list of vehicles requiring visual verification that the passenger airbag is connected.
A Texas woman is suing American Honda and the US subsidiary of Takata, claiming she was badly injured when the airbag in her car exploded in a low-speed accident. (more…)
A US dealer is suing his competitor for selling used vehicles which require their airbags to be replaced as part of the Takata safety recall. (more…)
Toyota will recall another 5.8 million cars over potentially faulty airbag inflators made by Takata, reports Automotive News. (more…)
Toyota NZ has identified 7,560 imported vehicles with the front passenger airbags disabled, as a quick fix to the Takata recall. (more…)
The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has confirmed it will require greater checks of imported vehicles to ensure airbags have not been disabled as a quick fix in the Takata recall. (more…)
The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) will be introducing new inspection procedures for imported vehicles, to ensure their airbags have not been disengaged as a quick fix in the Takata recall. (more…)