Fri, Apr 12, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Millions of Japan-brand vehicles in worldwide recall

AFP, TOKYO

Up to 3.39 million vehicles made by Japanese manufacturers will be recalled worldwide because of possible problems with airbags, the companies said yesterday.

Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mazda separately said they would recall a combined 3.39 million vehicles globally in accordance with local regulations, all citing the same malfunction of passenger-side airbags.

Japan’s transport ministry, which received recall reports from the manufacturers, said the number of vehicles affected would reach 2.92 million. There was no explanation for the discrepancy in the total.

A Toyota spokesman said his company alone was recalling a total of 1.73 million vehicles, manufactured between November 2000 and March 2004 in Japan or abroad, due to a defect in passenger-side airbags.

Toyota USA said in a statement it was recalling 170,000 vehicles in the US.

“The involved vehicles are equipped with front passenger airbag inflators which could have been assembled with improperly manufactured propellant wafers,” the statement said.

“Improperly manufactured propellant wafers could cause the inflator to rupture and the front passenger airbag to deploy abnormally in the event of a crash,” it said.

The company’s spokesman in Japan said this abnormal inflation “could also burn part of the vehicle’s inside and cause fire.”

A Nissan spokeswoman said the company was recalling a total of 480,000 vehicles globally.

Toyota and Nissan said the airbags were made by Tokyo-based Takata Corp, while the ministry said the airbag parts were supplied by a single company, but declined to disclose the name.

“This is a global recall that affects all regions where we do our business,” said a spokeswoman with Honda, which is recalling 1.135 million vehicles.

Mazda said its recall target would reach 45,463 units worldwide, including 4,384 at home.

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