Toyota and Mazda Wave Goodbye to Takata

First Honda, now Toyota and Mazda say Takata airbag inflators made with ammonium nitrate are out.

Posted in News

— Airbag manufacturer Takata is watching as its automobile airbag customers drive away and out of sight, at least while Takata uses airbags made with the explosive chemical, ammonium nitrate.

Although there is still no official root cause of why Takata airbags explode and send shards of metal into vehicle occupants, Takata believes the explosive chemical is likely to blame.

The ammonium nitrate provides the explosive force to deploy an airbag in a crash, but the chemical can become unstable when affected by moisture. Engineers and safety authorities believe the reason most deaths and injuries have occurred in areas of high absolute humidity is because the ammonium nitrate is absorbing moisture.

Honda was the first automaker to dump Takata, at least for frontal airbags, after Honda said it was convinced Takata misrepresented and manipulated test data for the airbag inflators.

As Takata's biggest vehicle airbag customer, Honda set the pace for a quick exodus of other automakers concerning Takata airbags.

Toyota / Takata Airbags

Toyota says it will no longer use any Takata airbag inflators that contain ammonium nitrate. However, Toyota said it would consider using Takata airbag inflators that weren't made with ammonium nitrate, but Takata would need to prove the inflators are safe.

Toyota says it continues to investigate the root cause of the exploding metal inflators and will do whatever it takes to protect customers.

Mazda / Takata Airbags

Mazda has bailed out as far as any inflators made with ammonium nitrate. The automaker flatly stated no Takata airbag inflators made with that chemical will be installed in any new Mazda vehicles.

Mitsubishi / Takata Airbags

Mitsubishi says months ago it switched to suppliers other than Takata for replacement airbag inflators used for recalls. The automaker says it's considering doing the same for all new Mitsubishi cars.

Nissan / Takata Airbags

Nissan says it won't use Takata airbag inflators made with ammonium nitrate for any future models.

Subaru / Takata Airbags

The automaker is considering throwing out Takata as supplier for airbag inflators, although a final decision from Subaru hasn't been made.

Takata's Stock

Takata's stock lost almost 40 percent in three days after Honda announced it was abandoning the airbag maker and will use other companies to supply the inflators. However, Takata says it is having no problems with financing or cash flow, even though it reported a six-month loss of $45.8 million blamed on the airbag disaster.

That loss cut Takata's profit forecast by 75 percent for the fiscal year.