Ghosn Expects More Recalls as Carmakers Fight for Buyers

Consumers can expect more auto recalls as manufacturers work to keep customers happy and ensure minimal fuss over quality issues, says Carlos Ghosn, chief executive officer of Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA.

“Everybody is particularly focused on the fact that they are fighting so hard to get the consumer for their brand, so they don’t want to lose him for a quality problem,” Ghosn said in an interview in Shanghai. “What you are seeing today is a tendency from all carmakers to recall the cars every time there’s any doubt, because the last thing they want is the consumer to have to deal with quality problems.”

Recalls are an “industry concern,” said Ghosn, speaking in his capacity as president of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

His remarks come amid widening global recalls of cars with potentially faulty air-bag inflators, made by Takata Corp., that can blast shrapnel into passengers. General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. have warned against sitting in front passenger seats of cars equipped with the air bags.

Takata’s air bags in Honda Motor Co. vehicles are being examined in at least four deaths in the U.S., and have led to recalls of 7.8 million cars by 10 auto companies in the U.S. in the past two years, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Toyota alone has called back more than 875,000 vehicles in three separate campaigns as part of recalls also affecting Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and Mazda Motor Corp. in the U.S.

Nissan has recalled 694,626 vehicles in the U.S. in the past 18 months to correct the air-bag flaws, according to an NHTSA statement on Oct 22.

Ghosn declined to comment specifically on the effect of recalls on Nissan and on Takata’s handling of the situation.

— With assistance by Alexandra Ho

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