Honda Opens Independent Probe of Exploding Airbag Problem

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Honda has stepped out on its own to conduct an independent investigation of exploding Takata airbags.

While 10 automakers work together in a consortium to find the cause of problems plaguing airbags, Honda has decided to step out on its own as it also seek the cause. According to Automotive News, the automaker has hired a U.S. engineering firm to look into the cause of airbag ruptures in devices made by Takata, besieged airbag manufacturer whose exploding airbag inflators have been linked to six deaths and scores of injuries.

In the latest probe of Takata’s faulty airbags, Honda has hired Exponent, the U.S. consulting engineering firm, to look into airbag failures and find the cause. Exponent was hired by Toyota in 2010 as the automaker was beset by its own massive recall crisis. Exponent’s hiring was made public yesterday by Japan’s Jiji News, based in Tokyo.

Interestingly, Honda is a member of the Toyota-led airbag consortium. The consortium, charged with finding out why Takata’s airbag inflators rupture on deployment, has hired Orbital ATK to conduct tests on the exploding inflators. When the inflators rupture, due too much force, the metal shards created, can rip, like shrapnel, through the passenger compartment of a car, endangering the driver and passengers. So far, Honda has felt the impact of the airbag problem because the six deaths attributed to the inflators have occurred on Honda vehicles.

Since the airbag recalls began in 2008, some 25 million vehicles, equipped with Takata-made devices, have been recalled.

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