TOKYO (Bloomberg) -- Takata Corp., the company whose faulty airbags are behind a record vehicle-safety recall, is depending on three of its key competitors to produce the majority of millions of replacement parts.
By March, Autoliv, Daicel and TRW Automotive will make about 68 percent of the inflators used to repair faulty Takata airbags behind a record vehicle-safety recall, the Japanese supplier told U.S. regulators.
Takata's three key rivals produced about 50 percent of the inflators for replacement kits in June, the company said. The disclosure was part of responses by suppliers and automakers last month to questions by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on the progress of the safety recalls.
Autoliv has estimated it will supply as many as 20 million replacement inflators in 2015 and 2016.
TRW, which was acquired by ZF Friedrichhafen earlier this year, estimates it could make 10 million to 15 million replacement inflators a year using its spare capacity, according to its letter to NHTSA.
More than 40 million vehicles have been recalled worldwide as a result of Takata airbag inflators that rupture during deployment, a defect linked to eight deaths and more than 130 injuries.
Automakers make changes
The automakers affected by the crisis are reducing their dependence on Takata even as they work with the Tokyo-based company to identify the root cause of the defect.
Honda, which needs to replace about 24.5 million inflators, said last year it would shift to buying them from Autoliv and Daicel.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said it has turned to TRW permanently for an alternate inflator design.
Toyota, which has recalled about 12 million vehicles globally, is now getting driver-side inflators from a supplier other than Takata, the company said in a separate letter last month to NHTSA.
Mazda said it has reached an agreement with Daicel to supply airbag inflators, and Nissan said it is also working with the Japanese partsmaker on developing replacement components.
Mitsubishi and Fuji Heavy Industries' Subaru also said in their letters to NHTSA that they're looking to alternative suppliers and haven't reached agreements.