400 vehicles will be recalled due to faulty Takata-made airbags: LTA

400 vehicles will be recalled due to faulty Takata-made airbags: LTA

SINGAPORE - Land Transport Authority (LTA) said around 400 vehicles in Singapore will be recalled due to possible faulty Takata-made airbags, said The Straits Times.

LTA also said in a statement that automakers based in Singapore "will be notifying the affected car owners to schedule their cars for rectifications", added the English daily.

At least 16 million vehicles around the world fitted with the Japanese-made airbags have been recalled over concerns that the device could explode when inflating, reported AFP.

This week, a pregnant Malaysian woman was killed after the Takata-made airbag ruptured during a car crash, reported local and international media.

According to The Straits Times, there were four other deaths linked to the Takata airbags reported in the US.

In another report, a New York Times quoted a former Takata employee who said executives ordered destruction of data which exposed design flaws in its products.

However, Takata has denied the existence of such a report.

Automakers affected have been listed as Japanese manufacturers including Honda, Toyota, Subaru, Nissan, Mazda and other European and American makers such as BMW, Chrysler and Ford.

wjeanne@sph.com.sg

Takata says it is subject of US criminal probe on air bags

by Reuters

TOKYO/DETROIT - Takata Corp is the subject of a US criminal investigation over defective car air bags that have been linked to five deaths, and executives from the Japanese company and its major client Honda Motor Co Ltd are expected to face congressional hearings in the coming week.

A federal grand jury in New York has subpoenaed Takata's US unit to produce documents on the air bag defects, the company's Tokyo-based spokesman said on Thursday.

Separately, the US Senate commerce committee scheduled a hearing next Thursday to solicit testimony from Takata executives on air bag defects, as well as from officials of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on the vehicle recall process. Honda said it will also send a representative to testify before the Senate committee on Thursday.

Defective Takata air bag inflators have been found to explode with dangerous force in accidents, sending shards of metal into the vehicle.

An investigation by US prosecutors in Manhattan into the Japanese safety-parts maker had been previously reported, but Thursday's statement is the first indication that a seated grand jury was seeking evidence. Takata disclosed the probe in a closed-door meeting with financial analysts, according to an account from one participant.

ADDING PRODUCTION LINES

A Takata spokeswoman in Tokyo said on Friday the company is preparing to add two new production lines at its plant in Monclova, Mexico, to make replacement air bag inflators - the explosive devices that allow air bags to inflate in a fraction of a second during a crash. A January start-up is planned for the new production lines in Mexico, the company said.

Takata said it could not disclose the scope of the capacity increase, but noted it had been planned before Honda's latest recall was announced.

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