airbag

Japanese airbag supplier Takata looks to be in more trouble as more automakers will be moving away from its airbag inflators. To make matters worse, Takata’s shares have slumped drastically, Reuters reports.

Merely days since Honda announced its move away from Takata’s airbag inflators, now, Mazda has announced that it will no longer use Takata’s ammonium nitrate-infused inflators in its new cars. “We will not use Takata airbag inflators which contain ammonium nitrate in our new cars,” said Akira Marumoto, executive VP of Mazda.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru), are also said to be considering a similar move away from Takata. The latter however, might even go to the extent of using airbag inflators from other suppliers to fix Subaru cars under recall. According to its CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, the reason for this is because Takata was taking too long to supply replacements.

SRS-Airbag

A Toyota executive has stated that it is continuing investigations into Takata’s airbag inflators. The executive also added that the company is committed to using “higher quality” components, without elaborating further. Nissan, on the other hand, said it would give way to US regulators on actions concerning Takata.

The US Department of Transport’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued the company with a USD$200 million fine (RM860 million) the largest penalty it has ever issued. Since then, Takata’s shares have taken a hit, dropping by 25% as it closed to a six and a half year low. In just two days, the company has lost USD$330 million (RM1.4 billion) in market value.

Takata has been facing a lot of difficulties recently, attributed to the use of ammonium nitrate as a propellant for its airbags. The chemical is said to become unstable when exposed to moisture and heat, which in turn could cause the airbags to explode, spewing metal shrapnel inside the car. Deaths have been reported, while worldwide recalls have been issued by automakers.