Takata Airbag Recall Crisis Is The First Global Manufacturing Pandemic

The largest recall in automotive history of Takata airbags in more than 70 million vehicles by 14 different manufacturers ranging from Ferrari, Jaguar and BMW to Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Subaru, is a manufacturing nightmare.

In the relatively brief quarter century since the concept of globalized manufacturing became practical and enormously attractive, this controversy over exploding Takata airbags resulting in serious injuries and fatalities – 14 deaths in the U.S. alone — serves as an ominous warning to the industry.

This is literally the first major globalized manufacturing pandemic with a frightening human toll and an enormous cost for all companies involved.

With less than a third of the 70 million airbags slated for recall by 2019 fully completed a fight is brewing as Takata falters as five take-over bidders push for a bankruptcy to unload the company’s mounting debt.

The worldwide recall alone is costing $10 billion, and the inevitable lawsuits in the hundreds of millions are yet to be factored into the toll.

But big creditors including several carmakers are pushing back as Takata offers restructuring plans to spread the losses among various stakeholders and auto industry creditors.