Takata Corp.’s air bag recalls may increase to 118.5 million worldwide after last week’s order by U.S. regulators compounded the biggest safety crisis in the history of the auto industry, according to estimates by Jefferies Group LLC.
Japan’s transport ministry and carmakers in other markets will probably follow the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in calling back all air bag inflators that lack a moisture-absorbing desiccant, Takaki Nakanishi, a Tokyo-based analyst for Jefferies, wrote in a May 5 report. The expansion may result in 55 million more air bags being recalled and 665.4 billion yen ($6.2 billion) in additional cost, according to Nakanishi, who was ranked as the top Japan auto analyst by Institutional Investor from 2003 to 2009 and again in 2013.
The estimates show the escalating financial toll on Takata as regulators compel the air-bag supplier to retract its devices, which have ruptured and killed at least 13 motorists in the U.S. and Malaysia. Takata has seen its market value plunge by about 78 percent in the past year and has estimated a comprehensive of all of its air bag inflators to total about 2.7 trillion yen, according to a person familiar with the matter in March.