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Auto Industry

Japanese carmakers launch global recall over airbag issues

All major Japanese carmakers have said they're recalling millions of vehicles worldwide after spotting problems with front passenger airbags. It's a precautionary measure, with no injuries reported so far.

Japanese carmakers Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mazda reported Thursday they'd recall a total of 3.39 million vehicles globally because of potential problems with airbags. The announcement came in separate statements from the companies, all citing the same malfunction.

"The involved vehicles are equipped with front passenger airbag inflators which could have been assembled with improperly manufactured propellant wafers," the carmakers explained. "Those wafers could cause the inflator to rupture and the front airbag to deploy abnormally in the event of a crash."

VW sets its sights on top spot

The statements also mentioned the possibility of parts of the vehicles inside being burnt and causing fire. So far, there have been five reports about such malfunctions, but no injuries have been recorded.

More to come?

Toyota said the firm would recall 1.73 million vehicles worldwide, manufactured between November 2000 and March 2004. Nissan for its part spoke of 480,000 cars to be recalled. Both companies mentioned the airbags were made by the Tokyo-based Takata Corporation.

According to Bloomberg news agency, Takata had been supplying airbags to almost all major automakers around the globe.

It said among its clients were German carmakers Daimler, Volkswagen and BMW as well as Ford and General Motors of the US, Fiat from Italy and South Korea's Hyundai.

hg/kms (AFP, dpa)

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