In a rare supplier-side rippling effect, six automakers are issuing the same
recall to fix at least 3.4 million cars due to defective airbags shipped
from the Japanese supplier Takata Corp.
Certain Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota, BMW and Pontiac models have front
passenger airbags with inflators that could rupture and injure occupants
during a crash. Honda said the airbags could deploy with too much pressure
and cause the casing of the inflator to break apart. Toyota said there could
also be a fire risk, which, as we've seen from counterfeit airbags built in
China, is plausible.
According to wire reports and emails to MSN Autos, 1.73 million Toyotas, 1.
14 million Hondas, 480,000 Nissans, 45,463 Mazdas, 55,000 Pontiacs and an
unknown number of BMWs are being recalled, although the exact numbers are
still being finalized.
Takata's U.S. division could not be reached for comment.
Within the U.S., Toyota is recalling about 170,000 cars built between 2001
and 2003, including the Corolla, Matrix, Sequoia, Tundra and Lexus SC 430.
Honda is recalling 561,000 cars, including the 2001-2003 Civic, 2002-2003 CR
-V and 2002 Odyssey.
Nissan reportedly is recalling similar model years of the Altima, Maxima and
Cube in Japan, but its U.S. division did not specify which models would be
Mazda said it was recalling just 149 cars in the U.S., including the 2003-
2004 6 sedan and the 2004 RX-8, according to filings with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
General Motors said it was recalling 55,000 Pontiac Vibes from the 2003
model year (the Vibe was built by Toyota and shared the Matrix platform). No
other GM vehicles are affected.
According to a filing with NHTSA on Thursday, Takata said manufacturing
problems at its Washington state and Mexican plants between 2000 and 2001
could cause the inflators to "deteriorate over time." The problems included
machines that were not set to automatically reject defective components and
propellants that may have been exposed to excess moisture.
Takata said it discovered the problem in October 2011 after an airbag
inflator ruptured in Japan and when another ruptured a month later in the U.
S. In total, the company said it knew of 12 incidents involving faulty
airbags, including six that deployed on cars in Japanese junkyards.
NHTSA said that it was not aware of any related deaths or injuries and that
it had not previously opened an investigation.
This airbag recall is Takata's largest single recall since 1995, when about
9 million cars were built with potentially faulty seatbelts. In 2010, Honda
had to recall more than 437,000 cars to fix faulty airbags also supplied by
Honda said it would begin the recall in late May, while Toyota and other
automakers did not give a date. Owners can visit www.toyota.com/recal
l and www.recalls.honda.com for more information. The airbag inflator
will be inspected and replaced.
UPDATE, 11:35 a.m. EST: This story has been updated to include details from
Takata, NHTSA, GM and BMW.
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Toyota said there could also be a fire risk, which, as we've seen from
counterfeit airbags built inChina, is plausible.