Tokyo - The largest recall in automotive history has left auto-parts fabricator Takata holding the bag… Or more specifically holding 34 million defective airbags.
Problem is, the devices have a tendency to go off like bombs, whenever the weather gets hot and humid.
"Such disloyalty from a safety oriented product is not acceptable," said Tommy Takata, president of the auto parts giant. "So our company has vowed to replace each and every one."
It's a task that's estimated to take between two and five years. And that's just the half of it. "The question is: what's to be done with the defective airbags once they are removed?" Tommy Takata explained. "Throwing them into landfills is also not acceptable. They are like little land mines."
Takata's solution is to repurpose the defective airbags into innovative consumer products and to use the sales revenues to cover the cost of the recall.
"Our first new product line is called the Kardashian Cushion. We created by slipping an M - 654 into the business end of a pair of ladies Levi's."
A discrete tap on the activation cylinder inflates the package into a size that's perfect for twerking. "We're getting Chubby Checker involved," Tommy Takata said. "He's working on a song called Twist and Twerk with Takata."
The airbag maker hasn't forgotten the senior side of the market. It is installing larger recalled airbags into state-of-the-art canes called Tippy Takata's. "This product is self-explanatory," Takata said. "When the old geezer is about to tip over, the airbag activates automatically to cushion the blow. Grandpa can even use it as a pillow to catch a few winks before the ambulance arrives."
The company has not overlooked the frontal possibilities of an airbag implant device called Leave It To Cleavage. "To boob or not to boob. That is the question. This innovation is the pro-choice answer. You can pump them up or go flat out, as the occasion demands."
But the most exciting repurposed airbag innovation is based on the name "Takata," which roughly translates to "Whoopee Cushion" in English.
"America needs a comic prop to lift up its spirits," Takata said. "And this product puts the whoop in whopee. Not only does it simulate the passing of gas, but it also creates a Class 2 detonation action, providing a frenzied finale."
Asked if providing pranksters with an explosive device is a good idea, Takata replied that most vehicles on the road have such devices aimed at the driver and front seat passenger.
"They're ready to shower you in shrapnel in the event of a fender bender or a little sticky weather," Takata explained. "Anyone care for a crash helmet?"