Statement from Honda Regarding Phase 1 Results of Honda-Initiated Audit of Takata Airbag Inflator Test Data – 9/23/2016
• Phase 1 concentrated on Takata test data for inflators installed in Honda and Acura vehicles in the U.S. that were not under recall as of October 2015
• Audit discovered additional instances of test data manipulation by Takata
• Audit found that data manipulation did not conceal an additional risk of inflator rupture
In October 2015, after Honda became aware of evidence that Takata falsified and manipulated test data for certain airbag inflators, Honda requested that Takata fully cooperate with an “Independent Engineering Integrity Audit” of all Takata frontal airbag inflator validation test data and related information. The first phase of the audit was recently completed, and the final report on the findings was recently presented to Takata, Honda and government regulators.
The audit report identified several instances in which Takata manipulated inflator validation test data supplied to Honda for these inflator types. Honda remains disappointed and troubled by this behavior by Takata. However, unlike the earlier-discovered data misrepresentations related to the original PSDI inflators first recalled in 2008, the actual results of the manipulated tests of the inflator types subject to this audit did not indicate that any ruptures had occurred in the validation testing reviewed.
The first phase of the independent audit involved a review of Takata test data for airbag inflators installed in Honda and Acura vehicles in the United States and Canada that were not yet subject to recall at the time that the audit began in October 2015. Subsequent to the start of the audit, the non-desiccated inflator types considered in Phase 1 of the audit became subject to recall in February 2016 (PSDI-5) and May 2016 (PSPI-6). Thus, the only inflators not currently under recall that were the subject of Phase 1 of the audit are the X-series inflators that Honda began using in 2011. All X-series inflators contain a moisture-absorbing desiccant. Although there have been no X-series inflator ruptures in the market in Honda vehicles, Honda has undertaken a comprehensive investigation of the safety of the X-series inflators.
Separately, and outside of the original scope of this audit, it was found that mass-production testing information recently supplied by Takata to the auditor indicated a possible issue with the PSPI-6 passenger front inflator type, which is currently subject to recall. These tests, which had not been previously disclosed to Honda, revealed instances of inflator closure erosion, an issue unrelated to either inflator propellant degradation or known causes of inflator rupture. Honda is conducting an independent analysis to determine the potential for safety concerns with this newly disclosed information.
Moving forward, Phase 2 of the audit will focus on validation testing of currently unrecalled Takata inflator types installed in Honda and Acura vehicles outside of the United States and Canada. Due to the complexity of the process and the independent nature of the audit, Honda is not in a position to estimate a completion date for Phase 2.