Washington — Honda Motor Co. said Tuesday it will stop using Takata Corp. air bag inflators after it accused the supplier of misleading and manipulating test data.
Honda has been the hardest hit by the Takata air bag crisis, with all of the eight deaths and about three-quarters of reported injuries in Honda vehicles.
“On a global basis, no new Honda and Acura models currently under development will be equipped with a front driver or passenger Takata air bag inflator,” the automaker said Tuesday.
Honda also said in the “foreseeable future” it will only use non-Takata replacement inflators. “In the event of any delay due to parts availability, Honda will continue to make alternative transportation available, free of charge, to customers affected by this issue until their vehicles can be repaired,” the company said.
Honda said it has reviewed millions of pages of Takata internal documents. “As a result of our review of these documents, we have become aware of evidence that suggests that Takata misrepresented and manipulated test data for certain air bag inflators. Honda expects its suppliers to act with integrity at all times and we are deeply troubled by this apparent behavior by one of our suppliers,” Honda said.
Honda made the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration aware of the documents.
Honda said it has a sufficient supply of replacement inflators to meet the current pace of customers responding to the recall. “Honda’s national completion rate is 41 percent and exceeds 42 percent in the region with the highest heat and humidity that has been targeted by NHTSA as most critical,” the company said.
NHTSA said Tuesday it is fining Takata Corp. $70 million and naming an independent monitor over the Japanese air bag manufacturer’s handling of a massive recall of 19.2 million vehicles linked to at least eight deaths and about 100 injuries.
The $200 million settlement — including $130 million in deferred penalties that Takata can face if it fails to live up to the deal — is the largest ever imposed by NHTSA.