Statement from Honda Concerning Past Airbag Inflator Redesign

Reuters recently published an article concerning Takata airbag inflators that contains assertions about Honda we believe are inaccurate. The following is our statement in response:

Honda categorically rejects the assertion that a redesigned airbag inflator component is evidence that the prior inflator design contained a safety defect.  As technology evolves, Honda and other automakers regularly work with suppliers to make design changes.

It was Honda’s understanding at the time that all inflator ruptures were due to Takata manufacturing errors associated with a previous inflator design. Thus, Honda’s request to Takata to incorporate a change into a new airbag inflator design, was prudent on our part. Importantly, we are aware of no customers experiencing rupture events with the new inflator design.

Regarding Honda’s reporting obligations, Honda does have an obligation to report safety defects to NHTSA, and we fully comply with this requirement. However, it is not NHTSA’s expectation, nor the industry practice, that automakers will automatically report every new inflator design to NHTSA.