Tokyo - Japan's transport ministry said on Wednesday it received a report of an “unusual deployment” of a Takata Corp airbag outside an existing recall programme - raising the prospect that recalls could be expanded in Japan.
Officials at the ministry, Japan's auto safety regulator, told reporters a passenger-side air bag exploded as it was being removed from a scrapped car in Gifu prefecture in central Japan on November 6, shooting out metal shrapnel. No one was hurt.
“In this case, we don't yet know the cause of the unusual deployment and we don't yet have detailed information, so we are instructing the carmaker to determine the cause and report back as soon as possible,” said Masato Sahashi, director of the ministry's recall enforcement office.
The ministry would not disclose the car's maker, noting only it was a Japanese model. The 2003-model car was fitted with a Takata airbag with an inflator manufactured in January, 2003.
Officials said this particular inflator produced at this time was not subject to recalls in Japan, but may already be part of a wider recall by some carmakers abroad.