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Honda to recall 20 million more Takata airbags: report

[TOKYO] Honda Motor will recall an additional 20 million Takata-made airbags globally, a newspaper said Sunday, in a widening scandal that has led to the biggest auto recall in US history.

Tokyo-based auto parts giant Takata is struggling to deal with a defect that can send metal and plastic shrapnel from the inflator canister hurtling toward drivers and passengers when an airbag is deployed.

The defect has been blamed for grisly injuries that have in some cases proved fatal.

Honda, along with other automakers, has already been ordered by US authorities to recall all units that do not contain a desiccant that keeps explosives in airbags from deteriorating.

The Japanese automaker now plans to widen areas for the recall to Asia, Oceania, Latin America and Europe, which will force the firm to recall another 20 million airbags or more globally, bringing the total number to more than 50 million, the Nikkei daily said.

The additional cost is estimated at 200 billion yen (S$2.55 billion), the business newspaper said, adding that the latest move by the biggest buyer of Takata air bags may prompt other automakers to follow suit.

Immediate confirmation of the news report was not available.

Last Wednesday, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ordered Takata to recall between 35 and 40 million more airbags installed in US cars.

That is on top of the 50 million already recalled globally, including about 29 million in the United States, making it by far the biggest auto recall in US history.

Also on Wednesday, Honda announced two more people in Malaysia had died in accidents linked to Takata-made airbags. Most deaths have been in the US.

AFP