TORRANCE, Calif. -

Honda and Toyota are leading a charge in calling for a coordinated industry-wide joint initiative to independently test Takata airbag inflators that have been the subject of recent recalls.

The companies said the goal of this initiative is to address affected automakers’ issues related to the airbag inflator recalls and supplement testing being undertaken by Takata in order to address customer concerns about safety.

“The safety, security and peace of mind for our customers are our highest priority, and I believe this is shared with all the other automakers. That is what this initiative is all about," said Simon Nagata, president and chief executive officer of Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America.

“By combining our collective efforts behind a coordinated, comprehensive testing program, we believe we can achieve greater results. Together we will be better equipped to address this issue more rapidly for all customers,” Nagata contined.

Honda North America executive vice president Rick Schostek — part of the contingent grilled by the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee back on Nov. 20 — took a similar stance about the initiative.

“We believe that the industry can achieve greater results by sharing information and putting its collective efforts behind the same objective third party testing program,” Schostek said. “Honda continues to quickly address the needs and concerns of our customers, and this industry-wide initiative will bring additional energy and focus to this effort.”

During the past year, officials recapped that a number of automakers, in collaboration with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Takata, have announced recalls in the U.S. and Canada related to airbag inflators produced by Takata.

While the specific issue may vary depending on the inflator model, the automakers insisted the objective of seeking collaborative third-party testing is to ensure the inflators that require replacement are accurately identified and promptly fixed.

Toyota and Honda are seeking industry-wide coordination in support of a yet-to-be-named independent engineering analysis expert to test airbag inflators.

“Independent testing will allow the affected automakers to share test results and analyses, and better understand how best to implement recall repairs,” Toyota said.

In April of last year, Toyota pointed out that it launched a nationwide recall for Takata-produced front passenger airbag inflators in certain vehicles. This recall is still in effect today, and the company remains committed to addressing this issue for customers across the U.S. and Canada.

In October, Takata provided testing data to Toyota and NHTSA that suggested the risk was highest in areas of consistently high absolute humidity in the U.S. In response, Toyota intensified its recall efforts to reach more than 300,000 customers in those areas, and repairs have begun.

Beginning this month, Toyota said it will invite all automakers affected by the Takata airbag inflator issues to discuss the potential of a collaborative effort to source independent testing.

During that Senate hearing last month, Takata senior vice president for global quality assurance Hiroshi Shimizu said, “As we move forward, Takata will continue to cooperate closely with the automakers, with NHTSA, and with government regulators in Japan and around the world to address the potential for inflator rupturing. We will take whatever actions are determined to be necessary in the public interest and that will best advance the goal of safety for the driving public.”

And on Tuesday, according to a report from Reuters, Takata formed an independent quality assurance panel to be overseen by former White House chief of staff and U.S. Transportation Secretary Samuel Skinner.

The panel will audit and report on the company's manufacturing processes, according to the report.

Reuters also reported Takata appointed two former U.S. transportation secretaries, Rodney Slater and Norman Mineta, to serve as special counsels.