honda motor co. president to step aside following air-bag defect scandal
Japanese automakers in the air Center
On Monday, Takanobu Ito, the company\'s president, said it would step back and be replaced by another Honda executive.
The unexpected decision came after Honda\'s massive recall of an airbag-equipped car produced by Japan\'s Takata company.
Airbags have inflators that can explode and drain metal and plastic debris.
At least five people have been killed and dozens injured around the world.
Many automakers use Takata airbags, but Honda is most affected.
Canada said it announced a recall of about 700,000 vehicles in December.
Earlier, high humidity caused the problem in some parts of the United States. Tokyo-
Honda-based Honda said in a statement that Gao Hong Hachigo, another Honda executive, will succeed Ito, who will continue to serve as a board consultant.
The issue of airbags was not mentioned in the announcement, but was published in a series of other management changes.
All new appointments are subject to the approval of the board of directors at the annual general meeting of the company in June.
Hachigo is responsible for the development of the United States. S. -
Built the Odyssey minivan and guided the automaker\'s business in the United StatesS.
At the age of 33, Europe and China
The company said it was Honda\'s career this year.
Ito joined Honda in 1978 as a chassis design engineer and has served as president and CEO since 2009.
The company praised him for helping expand global manufacturing in emerging markets such as Mexico, Brazil, China and Indonesia. U. S.
Japanese authorities have been investigating Takata airbags. The U. S.
Honda was fined $70 million for failing to report to the US, the biggest civil penalty imposed on a carmakerS.
The regulator has caused 1,729 complaints of death and injury to its vehicles and non-reported warranty claims.
Takada has rejected the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration\'s request to recall the driver\'s side airbag inflator nationwide, although automakers have recalled the vehicles themselves.
The recall cast a shadow on Honda and other Japanese automakers for their reputation for quality and safety.
They also raised Honda\'s costs, especially in North America, prompting Honda to cut its annual earnings forecast after making a profit in October --
The quarter of December fell by 15 percentage points.
Manufacturers of Fit\'s ultra-small, Odyssey minivan and Asimo robots now expect profits to hit 545 billion yen this fiscal year ($4. 6 billion)
The year-on-year decline was 5 percentage points.
But the company said it expects to sell four vehicles.
There were 45 million vehicles in the current fiscal year, slightly higher than the four it sold.
There were 3 million cars in the last fiscal year.
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