Takata recalls could shake trust in Japan auto industry, minister warns
TOKYO -- Airbag maker Takata Corp.'s safety crisis linked to five fatal auto accidents threatens to shake confidence in Japanese manufacturing and the country's auto industry, the nation's transport minister said Friday.
Japan will order Takata customers Honda Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp. to call back about 200,000 more vehicles in the country if recalls in the U.S. are expanded nationwide, Transport Minister Akihiro Ohta said in Tokyo.
The U.S. has demanded that Takata and automakers extend safety campaigns across the country by Dec. 2, after months of allowing companies to limit recalls to high-humidity regions.
Japan's regulator is stepping up scrutiny of Takata after mounting pressure in the U.S., where four people have died from airbags that deployed with too much force and spewed metal shrapnel at vehicle passengers.
The transport ministry said this week it would form a task force to oversee the 2.6 million cars recalled in Japan to replace Takata airbags, which haven't been linked to any injuries or deaths in the country.
Japan formed a special task force this month to deal with the growing recall crisis.
Toyota Motor Corp and its small-car subsidiary, Daihatsu Motor Co., announced new recalls on Thursday, citing excessive moisture during a manufacturing process at Takata's now-shuttered plant in LaGrange, Georgia.
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