Carmakers hold crisis huddle to mull ways to aid embattled air bag maker Takata

AFP-JIJI

Automakers have held a crisis meeting to see how they can help Japanese air bag manufacturer Takata after the recall of millions of vehicles worldwide due to a fault in the air bags, a German magazine reported on Wednesday.

According to the monthly Manager Magazin, Takata is unable to produce a sufficient number of air bags to replace the faulty ones. And it was impossible to find an alternative manufacturer in time, the magazine said.

At the crisis meeting, it was discussed whether a buyer could be found for embattled Takata or whether to help it out financially, the report said.

Also at the meeting, German automakers in particular discussed a possible solution for Takata’s plant in Freiberg in eastern Germany, which has not been affected by the fault, the magazine continued.

Neither Volkswagen and its Audi brand, nor Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz nor BMW were willing to comment on the report.

A week ago, the manufacturers recalled a total of 2.5 million vehicles in the United States because of the fault.

The recalls became necessary after it was found that the Takata air bags can rupture and hit occupants of a car with shrapnel.

At least 10 deaths, including nine in the United States, have been tied to the faulty air bags. Automakers worldwide have been forced to recall more than 20 million cars to have the air bags replaced.

Investigators suspect that the air bag inflators and the propellant inside can deteriorate, especially in consistently hot and humid conditions, causing them to misfire.