No Takata rescue in the cards, Hachigo says


Honda’s president is sticking to the stance that his company has no plans to conduct an independent financial bailout of supplier Takata, which is embroiled in a massive recall crisis over air bag inflators that may explode.

Takahiro Hachigo, Honda Motor Co.’s president and chief executive, told reporters Wednesday the automaker is not planning a rescue for Takata Corp. and said finding the cause of the problem is the priority.

Takata is recalling 50 million air bag inflators globally.

Although Honda is Takata’s biggest customer, the recall involves many other automakers as well.

Still, Hachigo declined comment on Tuesday’s findings by the Independent Testing Coalition, a group of scientists hired by the auto industry, including Honda. The group said it believes that multiple factors, including moisture and high humidity, were to blame for the air bags inflating with too much force and hurling shrapnel at drivers and passengers.

“How to respond is not a matter of just our company,” Hachigo said when asked if Honda planned to take a leadership role on the issue.

Hachigo also went on to divulge more of Honda’s environmental strategy to the reporters.

He said two-thirds of the company’s sales will come from zero-emission vehicles, including electric vehicles, hybrids, plug-ins and those powered by fuel cells by 2030.

Rival Toyota Motor Corp. said almost all of its sales will consist of hybrids and fuel cell-powered vehicles by 2050.