This Big BMW Recall Is the Latest Headache for Takata

Takata Corp. (OTC:TKTDY), the world’s second largest manufacturer of airbags and seatbelts, is for the second month in a row finding itself in the spotlight of unwanted media attention. Reuters reported Tuesday that defective airbags made by Takata Corp. forced BMW to recall 220,000 vehicles from model years 2002 and 2003. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 20 percent of these vehicles are in the United States.

This recall comes on the heels of another significant recall just last month, citing the same problems. 3.4 million vehicles made by Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM), Nissan Motor Co. (OTC:NSANY) and Mazda Motor Corp were recalled because of Takata’s airbag issues. On April 11, Reuters reported this move to be the “largest recall ever for airbags made by Takata.” Toyota and Nissan reported no injuries or deaths on account of the defective airbags; however, the airbags still did not meet US requirements that were revised in the late 1990s.

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The April recall also contributed to the unwelcomed attention Toyota has been receiving recently, with its most recent revocation of vehicles following its huge recall of nearly 19 million vehicles globally from 2009 to 2011 on account of issues with unintended acceleration claims. Suffice it to say, Takata does not appear to be helpful in the rebuilding of Toyota’s reputation.

Similar to reports by Toyota, Honda and Nissan, BMW spokesman Dave Buchko said the company was not aware of any injuries or accidents related to the airbag issue. Precautions were instead taken due to fear that the airbags produced from April 2000 to September 2002 in Washington were made with an “insufficient compaction force.” There was also concern that the inflator propellant components made from October 2001 to 2002 were “exposed to an uncontrolled environment with too much moisture.”

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