Air bag manufacturer Takata is at the centre of a global public relations crisis this morning after the US announced moves to pull 34m vehicles equipped with its safety devices from the roads.
The dramatic intervention, thought to be the largest such vehicle recall in history, follows concerns that far from protecting lives faulty air bags may actually endanger them by blasting shrapnel into the vehicle, incidents which have now been linked to six deaths worldwide.
A total of 11 manufacturers are affected by the latest recall which is being orchestrated by the US Department of Transportation and National Highway Safety Administration with the cooperation of Takata.
Brands affected include Honda, Toyota and Nissan who were all subject to similar recalls in Britain back in 2013 when tens of thousands of vehicles were pulled off the streets.
Putting a brave face on the news Shigehisa Takada, Takata CEO, commented: “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with NHTSA, which represents a clear path forward.”
Despite this Takata and the vehicle manufacturers are expected to incur a loss of anywhere up to $5bn and an inestimable knock to its global reputation.