Ford joins Japanese carmakers in ditching dodgy Takata air bag inflators


Ford Motor Co. is no longer using the air bag inflators from embattled Japanese parts supplier Takata Corp. that utilize a potentially unstable chemical U.S. safety regulators have linked to a defect, a representative confirmed Monday.

“Ford Motor Company products currently in development will not be equipped with Takata airbag inflators that use ammonium nitrate,” the automaker said in a statement.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said earlier this month the chemical compound plays a role — along with age of the inflator and exposure to absolute high humidity — in the violent rupture of some Takata air bag inflators.

The defect is linked to eight deaths and about 100 injuries around the world.

Ford is the latest automaker to announce a split from the Japanese supplier. Takata’s largest customer, Honda Motor Co., along with Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co., Mazda Motor Corp. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. — the makers of Subaru cars — have also said they will stop installing the defective air bag inflators in their vehicles.

Takata has said it will phase out the manufacturing of the compound by the end of 2018.

More than 50 million cars equipped with Takata air bags have been recalled globally since 2008, mostly in the United States and Japan.