Honda, Nissan, Mazda recall 3 million cars for airbag problem
Humidity could be a factor in causing defective Japanese-made airbags
Nissan, Mazda and Honda are recalling millions of vehicles globally for defective airbags made by Japanese supplier Takata Corp. that could possibly explode during a crash.
No accidents have been reported related to the recalls, but the three companies say it's a precautionary move.
Honda Motor Co. recalled 2.03 million vehicles, including 1.02 million in North America and nearly 669,000 in Japan. It said they were manufactured between 2000 and 2005.
That came on top of a million vehicles Honda recalled last year for similar Takata airbag problems.
Nissan Motor Co. recalled 755,000 vehicles globally manufactured from 2001 through 2003, while Mazda Motor Corp. recalled nearly 160,000 vehicles manufactured from 2002 through 2004.
Like Honda, both companies announced recalls last year, but in smaller numbers.
Starting last August, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says it started getting complaints about airbag failures in two areas — Puerto Rico and Florida — with high humidity. Since then, the agency began investigating whether Takata inflators made after 2002 are prone to fail, and whether driving in high humidity contributes to the risk of air bag explosions.
Takata said it believes some problematic inflators were supplied to BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota for vehicles sold in the United States.
Other automakers investigating
A spokesperson for Ford Canada tells CBC News the company is complying with an NHTSA request to gather all of the airbag inflators, but "we are not aware of any reports of this issue in any Ford vehicles," the spokesperson said.
When asked for comment, a spokesman for Chrysler said "Chrysler Group has begun its own investigation and is prepared to co-operate fully with the agency" on the matter.
Monday's recall came about after Takata realized that an earlier recall of its airbags did not include all potential car models.
Toyota Motor Corp. announced an airbag recall earlier this month for 2.27 million vehicles, including some that were recalled last year. One fire was reported related to the defect, but no one was injured in that incident, Toyota said.
Toyota, the world's No. 1 automaker, was also investigating a crash in Puerto Rico in which the driver suffered a minor cut on the forehead which may have been caused by an abnormal passenger-side airbag deployment.
Toyota's affected models include the Corolla, Matrix, Tundra, Yaris and Camry. The models recalled at Honda include the Fit, Element and CR-V, while those at Nissan are the Cube, X-Trail and some Infiniti models. Recalled at Mazda were the Atenza and RX-8.
Tokyo-based Takata is the world's leading manufacturer of airbags, seat belts, steering wheels and other auto parts.
With files from The Associated Press and Reuters