Air bag manufacturer Takata Corp. and Japanese carmakers including Honda Motor Co. are locked in the commercial equivalent of a bad marriage: not entirely happy in each other's company but unable to break apart and wary of potentially costly court battles.

Honda on Friday unveiled a new model with an unusual sales pitch — fuel efficient, lots of cargo space and, by the way, no air bag inflators made by Takata, the supplier at the center of a global safety crisis that has rocked both companies.

Over the past five years, recalls have ballooned to include 36 million vehicles fitted with potentially lethal Takata air bags, triggering a criminal investigation and lawsuits in the United States and testing ties between Takata and its main customers, according to auto executives and bankers.