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Drivers warned airbags could have an expiry date

Gradual deterioration, rather than a manufacturing fault, is being blamed for motor recalls.

Image: Shutterstock/thieury

JAPANESE CAR MAKERS are mulling the idea of introducing expiration dates for airbags.

The head of the country’s auto industrial body said he thinks the debate may as well occur eventually on whether airbags should be replaced after several years.

Fumihiko Ike, chairman of Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association and chairman of Honda Motor said:

We have already started the talks unofficially.

Millions of vehicles produced by some of the world’s biggest automakers, including Honda, Toyota and General Motors, have already been recalled due to the risk their airbags could deploy with excessive explosive power, spraying potentially-fatal shrapnel.

Amid worries that maker Takata still does not know the root cause of the problem, the finger of suspicion is pointing at a gradual deterioration, rather than a manufacturing fault.

At least five driver deaths in the US and Malaysia have been reportedly linked to the faulty airbags, with at least one victim’s death initially investigated as a murder due to the grisly injuries.

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Honda is Takata’s biggest customer and also a shareholder. It held 1.2 percent of Takata’s outstanding stock as of September 30.

© – AFP 2014

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