UPDATE 2-Japan may expand air bag recalls; worried about impact on industry

viernes 28 de noviembre de 2014 06:22 GYT

* More Japan recalls needed if U.S. recalls go national

* Potential additional Japan recalls to be from Honda, Mazda

* Minister worried about denting trust in Japan auto industry (Adds Honda past incident reporting in Japan)

By Mari Saito and Maki Shiraki

TOKYO, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Honda Motor and Mazda Motor may have to recall another 200,000 cars in Japan to replace Takata Corp air bags if Takata complies with a U.S. order to recall cars across the United States rather than just in humid regions.

Several automakers in the U.S. have issued regional recalls of certain models to investigate what is causing some Takata air bags to explode with excessive force. U.S. safety regulators have ordered Takata to have those recalls expanded nationwide.

Takata has so far resisted a wider U.S. recall, saying that could divert replacement parts away from the high-humidity regions thought to need them most - due to moisture possibly breaking down the air bag inflator's chemical mix. Takata has until Tuesday to respond to the U.S. regulator's order.

Takata and regulators still don't know exactly why some air bags have proved lethal, with the inflators exploding and shooting metal shards at car occupants. At least five deaths have been linked to such incidents - all in Honda cars.

As U.S. investigations progress, an expanded recall can have a knock-on impact in other markets where cars use air bag inflators from the same potentially problematic batches.   Continuación...