TOKYO (Bloomberg) -- Japan’s transport ministry will form groups to oversee airbag recalls tied to Takata Corp. and probe Honda Motor Co. for underreporting faults in the U.S., adding to regulatory scrutiny of the two companies.
Transport Minister Akihiro Ohta ordered the formation of a special task force to quickly deal with the 2.54 million vehicles that automakers have called back in Japan to replace Takata airbags, he told reporters today at a briefing in Tokyo. The ministry also said it will probe Honda’s recall mistakes in the U.S., where the company said Monday that it failed to report more than 1,700 claims of injury or death during an 11-year span.
Honda President Takanobu Ito said today that the automaker didn’t share the same understanding as the authorities of its obligations under U.S. law, and that its local management made many mistakes filing the early-warning reports.
Takata and customers led by Honda, Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. face an ongoing investigation in the U.S. by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration into airbags that can deploy with excessive force and shoot metal shrapnel at passengers. Almost 8 million vehicles have been called back by 10 automakers in the U.S. since last year.