Japanese carmakers expand Takata airbag recall

BBC reports that Japanese car giants Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi have expanded a recall of cars to replace airbags made by Takata.

The recalls had initially been issued in North America, but have now been extended to the rest of the world.

The carmakers said they were calling back a total of 3.2 million cars globally, affecting nearly 30 models.

Last week, Toyota recalled 1.37 million vehicles in the US after Takata agreed to an order by US regulators to declare more defective airbags.

The airbags have been linked to eight deaths, all in Honda vehicles. The carmaker has been the hardest hit by the recalls, calling back more than 19 million cars around the world.

The defect in the airbags, believed to be linked to a chemical propellant that helps inflate it, can cause it to deploy with explosive force and send metal shrapnel flying.

At a news conference on Thursday, following Takata’s annual general meeting, the firm’s chief executive, Shigehisa Takada, apologised to shareholders for the first time since the airbag issues started.

‘We are a company that should be providing safety. Our product quality should be assured,’ he said.

‘There are many things needing improvement. We must reconsider how to do that and also how to better manage our supply chain.’

Toyota, the world’s biggest automaker, said it would recall another 2.86 million cars, including 24 models made between April 2003 and December 2008.

Of the cars recalled, 1.729 million are in Europe, 360,000 are in Japan, and 190,000 in China.

Nissan, meanwhile, said it was recalling another 198,000 cars, including the Navara, Caravan and Teana made between April 2007 and December 2008.

Mitsubishi said it would recall 120,000 vehicles.

The carmakers added that there had been no reports of accidents or injuries from the expanded recall.

In May, Takata had agreed to double a US recall to a record 34 million vehicles made by about 11 carmakers over the airbags.