Toyota Officially Testing Airbag Inflators From Takata Rivals

A week after it was reported that Toyota planned to buy 13 million airbag inflators from a rival of Takata in an attempt to reduce the risk associated with millions of recalled safety devices from the Japanese auto parts maker, the car manufacturer announced it will indeed be testing alternative replacement components. 

Reuters reports that Toyota is currently testing airbag inflators from Autoliv and Nippon Kayaku as replacements for the millions of volatile Takata-produced airbags that have so far been linked to eight deaths and more than 100 injuries. The auto maker has already approved the continued use of parts from Daicel Corp.

The company says that tests of the new inflators are the first step in making sure the safety devices are compatible with its vehicles.

“(Inflators) are not like stationary, which can be simply swapped. We need to test them first and make sure they’re safe,” a Toyota spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

Back in May, Takata recalled 33 million vehicles equipped with its airbags; 12 million of those belonged to Toyota.

Last week, sources close to the company said it had already asked Nippon to increase production of inflators to 13 million, to be used in the company’s cars until 2020.

At the time, the source said that having the parts on hand would give Toyota the ability to quickly replace any potentially defective inflators in the future.

In addition to asking Nippon to increase its production, Toyota asked the company to expand its facilities to meet the new demand. It was unclear whether or not Toyota would help foot the bill for the requested expansion.

Autoliv, Reuters reports, already supplies parts for Honda – which was once Takata’s biggest customer.

Toyota says testing potential alternatives to Takata air-bag inflators [Reuters]

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