Airbag Recall Issued By Four Japanese Automakers

An airbag recall was issued by Toyota, Honda, Mazda, and Nissan for 3.4 million vehicles around the world. The airbags, all supplied by Takata Corp., have a risk of catching fire or injuring passengers.

Thursday’s airbag recall is the largest of its kind for Takara, the world’s second largest supplier of airbags and seatbelts. Shares in the company’s stock took a 10 percent hit immediately following the announcement.

The recall is also the largest in the automotive industry since Toyota pulled more than seven million vehicles off the market last October.

The recall includes some of the top-selling Japanese cars like the Toyota Camry and Corolla, the Nissan Maxima, and the Honda Civic. All of the vehicles included in the airbag recall were manufactured in or after 2000.

Spokesman Hideyuki Matsumoto stated that Takata produced the faulty airbag inflators from 2000 until 2002. A spokesperson for Toyota added that five incidents have been reported to the automaker, though no injuries were reported.

The issue happens in the case of an accident. The front passenger’s airbag may not inflate properly, because of a manufacturing defect in the propellant for the airbag’s inflator. Toyora, Honda, and Nissan all stated that there have been no reports of injuries or deaths related to the recalled parts.

The recall is the largest for Takata since 1995. The Tokyo-based company was involved in a recall that year for defective seatbelts. That recall included eight million vehicles. Along with Japanese automakers, Takata also supplies airbags and seatbelts to major automakers like Diamler AG and Ford Motor Co. It is not clear if the other two companies were affected.

Takata spokesman Toyohiro Hishikawa added that some non-Japanese automakers were also sold the faulty airbags, though he declined to give their names.

The majority of the vehicles affected by the airbag recall were built between 2000 and 2004. The inflators are not expensive to replace, but it will take between one and three hours to exchange them. The cost of the recall was not announced. It is not clear when automakers will inform customers affected by the massive airbag recall.

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