Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Industryweek 8295 Honda2

Honda Boss Stepping Down Over Air Bag Deaths

Feb. 23, 2015
Honda has said its recalls, also including those involving its Fit compact car and Vezel SUV, diluted the positive impact of the yen's sharp decline, which inflated profits among major Japanese exporters.

TOKYO - Japanese carmaker Honda (IW 1000/29) said Monday that its president was stepping down as the firm grapples with an exploding air bag crisis linked to at least five deaths that also led to the recall of millions of vehicles.

The firm said the move was squarely aimed at strengthening its global expansion strategy with a younger leader.

But the departure of company veteran Takanobu Ito, 61, comes at a difficult time for Japan's number-three automaker and for parts maker Takata, whose air bags are at the center of the scandal.

The maker of the Civic sedan said Ito, who joined Honda in 1978, would remain on its board, while managing director Takahiro Hachigo, 55, would step into the top job after a shareholders' meeting in June.

Takata has been plunged into a public relations crisis as it faces lawsuits, calls for a criminal probe and accusations of "deception and obfuscation" over the deadly defect that has seen air bags deploy with excessive explosive power, spraying potentially fatal shrapnel into the vehicle.

One U.S. woman's death was initially investigated as a murder due to her grisly injuries until police switched their focus to the vehicle airbag.

On Friday U.S. regulators said they were fining Takata $14,000 a day, over claims it was stonewalling the investigation into the company's defective airbags.

In Tokyo, Honda shares slipped 0.91% to 3,928.5 yen with Ito's resignation announced after markets had closed.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Global Supply Chain Readiness Report: The Pandemic and Beyond

Sept. 23, 2022
Jabil and IndustryWeek look into how manufacturers are responding to supply chain woes.

Empowering the Modern Workforce: The Power of Connected Worker Technologies

March 1, 2024
Explore real-world strategies to boost worker safety, collaboration, training, and productivity in manufacturing. Emphasizing Industry 4.0, we'll discuss digitalization and automation...

How Manufacturers Can Optimize Operations with Weather Intelligence

Nov. 2, 2023
The bad news? Severe weather has emerged as one of the biggest threats to continuity and safety in manufacturing. The good news? The intelligence solutions that build weather ...

How Organizations Connect and Engage with Frontline Workers

June 14, 2023
Nearly 80% of the 2.7 billion workers across manufacturing, construction, healthcare, transportation, agriculture, hospitality, and education are frontline. Learn best practices...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!