Honda Motor Co., the Japanese automaker at the center of an air-bag defect scandal, says its president Takanobu Ito will step aside.

The decision follows massive recalls by Honda of vehicles equipped with air bags made by Japan's Takata Corp.

Takata airbags are used by many automakers but Honda was the worst affected.

Honda said Monday another Honda executive, Takahiro Hachigo, will succeed Ito, who will remain on the board as an adviser.

Hachigo handled development of the U.S.-built Odyssey minivan and has guided the automaker's businesses in the U.S., Europe and China during his 33-year career with Honda.

Takata airbags were found to have inflators that can explode, expelling shards of metal and plastic. At least five deaths and dozens of injuries have been linked to the problem worldwide.