Shigehisa Takada, Takata’s chairman and grandson of the company founder, made a statement via newspaper ads today announcing that the company has the capital to appropriately manage the airbag crisis that affected brands like Ford, Nissan, BMW, Honda, Mazda and Toyota.
According to a recent report, the company has $774 million to dedicate to the recalls. Takada says that the company is prioritizing the supply of replacement parts. He is not concerned with being under-capitalized, but has vowed to take any necessary steps on the financial side.
The company is currently facing dozens of class-action lawsuits and is under a United States criminal investigation due to an airbag defect. The defect, which causes shrapnel to explode into the cabin after the airbag deploys, is linked to five deaths, four in the U.S. and one in Malaysia, all of which involved Honda vehicles. This problem is also the source of recalls of more than 20 million vehicles.
The advertisements were bought in newspapers like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Detroit Free Press. Takada also expressed the public’s concerns about the issue and that he is saddened by the failures of his company.
Takata has identified and corrected the manufacturing problems that are at the source of the defect, which include the mismanagement of ammonium nitrate. The Tokyo-based company says it has been analyzing 100 inflators per day to determine the root of the problem.
Takata will increase replacement airbag production to 450,000 repair kits next month from its Mexico-based plant. The company will also boost capacity to create the necessary components at factories in China and Germany.