The transport ministry in April began going to the homes of people who own vehicles equipped with potentially faulty Takata Corp. air bag inflators to accelerate repairs, ministry sources said Saturday.
In a rare move, ministry officials are going to the homes of about 100 people whose vehicles have air bag inflators of the same type as those found to have caused fatal accidents. Usually, automakers alone deal with users of vehicles being recalled to fix defects.
Specifically, ministry officials are concentrating on the owners of three Honda Motor Co. vehicle models sold in either the United States or Canada and shipped to Japan. Recalls of those three vehicle models were announced between 2009 and 2011.
“We will do whatever we can so (the air bag defect) will not cause any death in the country,” said an official the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
Globally, at least 11 deaths have been linked to Takata’s inflators that can explode and spray metal parts at passengers.
In Japan, 12.6 million vehicles equipped with Takata air bags had been recalled as of late May. The ministry plans to recall an additional 7 million vehicles following the U.S. road safety regulator’s order for Takata to expand its recall.