Honda, Nissan and Mazda expand airbag recall

Willie Grace | 6/25/2014, 3:59 p.m. | Updated on 6/25/2014, 4 p.m.
The recall storm embroiling Takata Corp.'s airbags widened today with Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. ...

The recall storm embroiling Takata Corp.'s airbags widened today with Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. calling back nearly 3 million vehicles to fix possibly defective inflator propellant made in North America.

Honda recalled 2.03 million vehicles worldwide, including 1.02 million in North America, 153,943 in Europe and 668,582 in Japan. The vehicles were manufactured between April 2000 and October 2002. In North America, they cover the Civic, CR-V, Odyssey and Element. In Europe, affected models are the Civic, Stream, Fit/Jazz and CR-V.

Mazda called back 159,807 vehicles worldwide, including 14,794 in North America, 90,259 in Europe and 11,832. That recall covers the RX-8 and first-generation Mazda6.

Nissan's recall affects 755,000 units worldwide. The total includes 228,000 vehicles in North America, including the Infiniti FX35, Pathfinder and Cube, and 128,000 nameplates in Japan, including the X-Trail and Teanna. Nissan did not provide a European breakout.

The June 23 triple action pushes to nearly 10 million the number of vehicles recalled worldwide over the past five years to fix Takata airbags.

Two deaths have been linked to faulty airbags in Hondas, both of which occurred in the United States in 2009, and the company said it knows of 41 cases of ruptured airbags.

Spokespeople for Nissan and Mazda said they have received no reports of injuries.

The three companies said they will replace the defective parts.

“We apologize for the trouble caused to our clients,” said Kikko Takai, a Takata spokeswoman. “We take it seriously and will strengthen our quality control to prevent a repeat of the issue.”

Faulty inflators

The latest recalls target possibly defective airbag inflators that were not included in a worldwide April 2013 recall by Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota Motor Corp.

Takata informed the companies earlier this month that faulty inflators may have slipped through the cracks and been delivered to manufacturers because of faulty record-keeping.

The lapses occurred at Takata plants in North America, a Honda spokeswoman said. The potentially defective parts were shipped to assembly plants worldwide.

The Honda, Mazda and Nissan callbacks come nearly two weeks after Toyota Motor Corp. issued a similar action to fix Takata airbags installed in its vehicles.

Tokyo-based Takata, the world's No. 2 auto safety equipment maker, said at the time that more recalls could come to fix glitches dating back to the early 2000s.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said then it was also investigating potentially defective inflators in vehicles produced by Nissan, Mazda and Chrysler.

Chrysler Group said it will notify some vehicle owners in four tropical regions that it will honor NHTSA's request to replace air bag inflators in 2006 Dodge Chargers.

Chrysler's action right now only covers 2006 Dodge Chargers registered in Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The automaker said it was pre-empting its own established protocols for dealing with potential defects to deal with the inflators “out of an abundance of caution.” The company said that it had been notified of a single injury related to the issue.