Toyota Buying 13 Million Inflators for Air Bags

Toyota Motor Corp in an attempt to lower risk from possible lethal air bag inflators from Takata Corp is buying millions from Nippon Kayaku Co a smaller maker of parts, said people close to the situation.

The carmaker from Japan asked the supplier in July to increase its production in order for it to supply the company with over 13 million of the bag inflators from July 2016 through 2020.

This decision is the carmaker’s most proactive since being affected by the biggest ever automotive recall that included millions of Toyota vehicles dating back to 2008 to change out air bags made by Takata.

The air-bag inflators made by Takata were linked to at least eight deaths and over 100 injuries as they exploded and the excessive force sprayed the inside of vehicles with shrapnel.

Automakers have had to bear costs of the majority of recalls while overall root cause is being investigated.

U.S. lawmakers urged Takata to recall all cars that were equipped with their company’s air bags. That demand could affect over 50 million cars on the road in the U.S.

Toyota has based the quantity of its purchases with Nippon Kayaku on the amount of vehicles that have inflators made by Takata it thinks will be dangerous as vehicles age in the upcoming few years.

If the automaker switches to the inflators made by Nippon Kayaku it would replace the ones that are high risk first and proceed to sequentially replace the others according to the age of the vehicles.

Takata said that exposure of a long period to high humidity and heat could make the air bags open with great force. All vehicles recalled thus far are 5-years old or older.

Toyota has requested that Nippon Kayaku the maker of pharmaceuticals and chemicals, which is over 100 years old to expand production to meet its demand.

Nippon Kayaku is based in Tokyo. Shares of the company were up more than 2.9% after the report about the air bags was released.

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