Japanese Sales Gain Despite Massive Japanese Airbag Recall

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1st Gear: Takata Airbags In More Cars Than Thought

Japanese Sales Gain Despite Massive Japanese Airbag Recall

Japan's Takata, a supplier of airbags and sponsor of awesome JGTC cars, has been embroiled in a massive recall for airbag inflators that were charged improperly. If activated, they could send fragments of metal into the driver.

So far, three million cars have been recalled.

But now Takata has identified that the parts are also in an undisclosed number of Subarus and Mitsubishis. Get ready to see an additional recall to fix those cars. A recall that goes beyond the already recalled cars from Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Ford, Chrysler and BMW.

2nd Gear: But Japan Shows Growth

Japanese Sales Gain Despite Massive Japanese Airbag Recall

The supplier issue not withstanding, the Japanese car market has shown growth for the first time in three months, with 452,555 cars leaving the lot. That's a 0.4 percent climb, much better than the 5.5 percent drop in April and the 1.2 percent drop in May.

It appears that most of the gains are in minicars and the smaller segments of the market. In notoriously crowded Japan, this makes perfect sense. So good news for Japan on this hand.

3rd Gear: Why Can't American Automakers Make Ignition Switches?

Japanese Sales Gain Despite Massive Japanese Airbag Recall

So Chrysler is recalling 700,000 minivans and SUVs. Why? Oh, because the key might rotate out of the on position. So far, Chrysler says that there have been 32 complaints and 465 warranty claims from the condition. There have also been two reported rear end collisions. The expanded recall comes at the behest of the government, which makes this an expansion of a recall from 2011.

But why? How come, all of the sudden, ignition switches are an issue? These have been an integral part of basically every single car built since the dawn of cars. Did someone forget how to do it? This really shouldn't be an issue.

4th Gear: BMW Goes To Mexico

Japanese Sales Gain Despite Massive Japanese Airbag Recall

No, it's not spring break. BMW is planning to open a factory in Mexico and will announce all of the details on July 3rd. This comes on the heels of Mercedes's announcement that they will also be building a factory in Mexico.

BMW wants to expand since their German factories just cannot meet demand for a number of their vehicles anymore. A tentative plan has BMW starting production in Mexico in 2017 with the factory reaching an output of 200,000 cars by 2020. Suhweet.

5th Gear: Speaking Of Mexico, Chrysler Is Going Too... Kind Of

Japanese Sales Gain Despite Massive Japanese Airbag Recall

Starting in November, Chrysler will start selling a small sedan in Mexico. No, it's not the 200. No, it's not a new model that we should be excited to get soon. Nope. It's a Mitsubishi that will be built in Thailand.

It'll be a car based on the Mitsubishi Attrage, which is the sedan version of the Mirage. Mitsubishi isn't sure how many cars will come from its factory and head to Mexico, but it's a win/win all around. Mitsubishi gets to export more cars from its Thai factory, Chrysler gets to be a part of the exploding South American B-Segment. Not bad.

Reverse

The last Thunderbird, Ford Motor Company's iconic sports car, emerges from a Ford factory in Wixom, Michigan on this day in 2005.

[HISTORY]

Neutral

Ignition switches. What went wrong?