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By Chang-Ran Kim and Mari Saito
TOKYO May 13 (Reuters) – Japan’s three biggest carmakers
said on Wednesday they would expand a huge global recall
triggered by potentially fatal air bags made by Takata Corp
, saying they were taking back millions of vehicles
worldwide for investigation.
Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co said
they were recalling some 6.5 million vehicles globally, while
Honda Motor Co Ltd said it would follow suit, without
giving further details.
Wednesday’s announcements raise to roughly 31 million the
number of vehicles recalled worldwide since 2008 over Takata air
bag inflators, which can erupt with too much force, spraying
shrapnel inside the car.
The Takata-linked recall is now on par with a General Motors
Co recall of some 30 million vehicles last year for a
range of defects, including faulty ignition switches.
Asked about the latest recalls, a Takata spokeswoman said a
probe into the causes for the air bag defects was ongoing and
that the company continued to cooperate with the automakers.
Six deaths have been linked to the defective Takata airbags,
all on cars made by Honda, which announced disappointing profit
forecasts last week citing high quality-related costs.
Toyota and Nissan said their recalls were precautionary and
that no accidents or injuries had been reported.
They did not give further details about the suspected
defects, but in documents submitted to Japan’s transport
ministry, the automakers said they had identified problems with
inflators that were not sufficiently sealed and that were at
risk of allowing in moisture during extended use.
Toyota, Japan’s biggest automaker, said it would recall just
under 5 million Corolla, Vitz and other models, mostly in Japan
Many of the models were built between March 2003 and
November 2007, and include 1.36 million to be recalled in Japan.
Nissan said it was recalling about 1.56 million cars
globally over the same issue. It did not give further details
about the models affected.
Takata faces multiple class action lawsuits in the United
States and Canada as well as a U.S. criminal investigation and a
The company said last week it expects to return to profit in
the business year started in April even though it has made few
provisions for costs related to the massive global recall.
(Additional reporting by Maki Shiraki; Editing by Chris
Gallagher, Miral Fahmy and William Mallard)