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Honda shakes up management as recalls persist after CEO switch

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Honda Motor Co will revamp top management under President Takahiro Hachigo as recalls persist one year after internal quality woes and a safety crisis at top supplier Takata Corp prompted the company to change chief executives.

[TOKYO] Honda Motor Co will revamp top management under President Takahiro Hachigo as recalls persist one year after internal quality woes and a safety crisis at top supplier Takata Corp prompted the company to change chief executives.

Chairman Fumihiko Ike will retire along with Executive Vice President Tetsuo Iwamura, and seven other top executives, Honda said in a statement. Seiji Kuraishi, currently a managing officer in charge of Honda's China business, will replace Iwamura, 64, as executive vice president.

Honda is overhauling management one year after announcing that Hachigo would succeed Takanobu Ito as Japan's third-largest automaker struggled with unprecedented quality issues. The company is preparing to recall the new Civic compact, the most important new product since Hachigo, 56, and has stopped sales of some versions in the US because engines may fail. Honda is also the biggest customer for Takata, whose air bag inflators are under investigation by US regulators.

Since 2008, Honda has recalled vehicles to replace about 30 million Takata air bag inflators, which can rupture and spray metal and plastic shards at vehicle occupants. The components have been linked to nine fatalities in Honda models, and the cause of death in a 10th incident is still being investigated.

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