LOS ANGELES (Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp., seeking to speed up progress on a recall begun in 2013, is anticipating a greater supply of inflators for Takata Corp. airbags being replaced in millions of cars.
“The good news is we’re being told that next month the numbers are going to go up,” Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota’s North American operations, said Tuesday in an interview at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
“I don’t know if it’s more production, if they’re getting it from other suppliers. I don’t know where it’s coming from. We just know we’re getting more inflators. As long as I get good inflators, that’s all that’s important.”
The pressure on Takata to supply replacement parts is increasing. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tuesday it wants Takata and 10 automakers to recall driver’s side airbags across the entire country, not just in high-humidity areas as originally planned. At the same time, Toyota and others are seeking replacements for passenger-side airbag inflators, which have a different design, Lentz said.
“We’re all putting a lot of pressure on Takata to get inflators faster,” he said. “And if you’ve got a supplier that’s had a quality concern going in, the pressure of doing more quicker is not necessarily the best thing to do to ensure you’ve got quality. I just want to make sure that we get quality parts to go back into these cars as quickly as possible.”
While Toyota is conducting a nationwide recall in the U.S., it’s prioritizing the limited supply of replacement parts to high-humidity areas, Lentz said.