AUBURN HILLS, Mich. & TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Takata Corporation, a leading global supplier of automotive safety systems, convened this week a meeting in Michigan with engineers from its automaker customers, including independent OEM consortium engineers, to update them on testing into the root cause of recent airbag inflator issues. Engineers were also provided with a presentation by an expert from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute, one of the world’s leading applied research organizations, which is providing independent research to determine the root cause of the airbag inflator failures.
Shigehisa Takada, Chairman & CEO of Takata, stated, “While the testing by Takata and research by the Fraunhofer Institute continues, and definitive conclusions have not yet been reached, the work so far has supported our initial analysis that age and long-term exposure over a period of many years to a climate of persistent heat and high absolute humidity are significant factors in the small number of inflators that have malfunctioned. Variability in vehicle makes and models is an additional factor indicated by the testing results thus far, and Takata also continues to consider variability in the inflator manufacturing process as a potential contributing factor.”
Mr. Takada added: “We are continuing testing and research and will continue to work openly and transparently with our OEM customers and to do everything we can to support the replacement of all the airbags covered by the automakers’ recalls and safety campaigns. The safety of the driving public is our number one priority and we are committed to do what it takes to achieve this.”
Takata has dramatically increased the production of airbag replacement kits in support of automotive recalls and safety campaigns. The Company has increased production capacity to 450,000 replacement kits per month, up from 350,000 in December, and expects to be producing approximately 900,000 kits per month by September 2015. The Company remains confident that newer inflators and those not exposed to prolonged humidity and heat are safe. Takata also is working with other suppliers to further increase the availability of replacement kits for its automotive customers.
Takata Corporation is a leading global innovator and supplier of automotive safety systems; including airbag systems, seat belts, steering wheels, electronics, sensors, and child restraint systems, and supplies all major automotive manufacturers in the world. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, it operates 56 plants in 20 countries with more than 36,000 global employees worldwide.