In a bid to reduce its risk from potentially lethal air-bag inflators supplied by Takata Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to buy air-bag inflators from parts maker Nippon Kayaku Co.
The Japanese carmaker has asked the second-tier supplier to increase production so it can supply Toyota with more than 13 million inflators from next July until 2020.
Takata air-bag inflators have been linked to eight deaths and more than 100 injuries after exploding with excessive force and spraying shrapnel inside vehicles. Automakers are bearing the cost of most recalls while the root cause is investigated.
Lawmakers in the United States have urged Takata to immediately recall all cars equipped with the company’s air bags, a demand that could affect more than 50 million cars on U.S. roads.
Toyota based the amount of Nippon Kayaku purchases on the number of vehicles with Takata-made inflators it thinks could become dangerous as the cars age over the next few years.
Takata has said long-term exposure to heat and high humidity can make its air bags deploy too forcefully. All the vehicles recalled so far are at least five years old.