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Auto Sector Shrugs Off Largest Recall In History

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Although the stock market has so far mostly shrugged off the largest auto recall in history, some see potentially wide-reaching effects on the auto industry.

Nearly eight million vehicles so far are under recall notices for potentially deadly defects in airbags made by the Tokyo-listed Takata Corporation.

The list of affected auto manufacturers was expanded Wednesday to 10 companies from an initial five, and now encompasses individual auto models from essentially the entire industry.

Takata supplies nearly a third of the worldwide air-bag market and its shares are down nearly 30 percent on the Tokyo stock exchange since news of the recall.

Takata said Tuesday that it expects additional costs from the event will be "very limited," with most recalls covered by its existing warranty reserves.

But Kelley Blue Book analyst Karl Brauer told CBS News that it will be "impossible" for Takata to keep up with ongoing production demand for new-car airbags while replacing the defects.

"It will take years to address the danger," Brauer separately told USA Today.

Takata's air-bag market share could deflate to about 11 percent by 2020, Valient Market Research Scott Upham told Bloomberg recently.

Likely to take up the air-bag supply slack are Stockholm-based Autoliv Inc. (NYSE: ALV) and Daicel Corp., listed on the Tokyo exchange.

Honda Motor Co Ltd (NYSE: HMC) appears to have the most at stake among automakers, with about five million of the 7.8 million vehicles on the recall list so far.

But Honda shares are essentially unchanged from a week ago.

Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE: TM) is next on the list, with about 877,000 affected vehicles. Toyota shares are also unchanged since last week.

Frankfurt-listed BMW, Nissan Motor Co Ltd (OTC: NSANY) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE: FCAU) each break six figures in the number of recalled vehicles, although none of the companies' shares have reacted.

 

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