BMW says its Takata inflator work moving from Mexico to Germany
By Ben Klayman
DETROIT Nov 19 (Reuters) - Takata plans to shift production of BMW air bag inflators from Mexico to Germany, the automaker said on Wednesday in a filing with U.S. safety regulators who have been probing questions about the quality of manufacturing at the plant.
Automakers that use the Takata inflators, including Toyota Motor Corp, warned that it was not feasible to switch to other suppliers to meet demand for replacement parts. The Takata inflators are at risk of blowing up with too much force and spraying occupants with metal shrapnel.
Germany's BMW said in a filing posted online by U.S. safety regulators that it is supporting efforts by Takata to shift inflator production from its plant in Monclova, Mexico, to another Takata plant in Freiberg, Germany. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating Takata inflators linked to at least five deaths.
BMW officials did not respond to an email seeking further comment.
Last month, Reuters reported that manufacturing problems with Takata inflators went beyond what the company had disclosed to U.S. regulators. Citing that story, NHTSA asked Takata to answer several questions about the Mexican plant.
Takata spokesman Alby Berman said the work being moved from Mexico was only for BMW vehicles and the plant was still installing two new production lines to boost capacity.
NHTSA posted documents from automakers responding to an Oct. 29 letter from deputy administrator David Friedman.
Officials from Takata, Honda Motor Co, Chrysler Group and NHTSA are scheduled to testify to a U.S. Senate panel on Thursday. Continuación...