Honda, Nissan and Mitsubishi to recall half-a-million cars with Takata airbags

Article by Andrew Christian, on December 14, 2014

Japanese carmakers Honda, Nissan and Mitsubishi are to issue recalls of over half a million vehicles around the world to replace airbag inflators from Takata Corp. The recalls are similar to a recent precautionary recall made by Toyota after it recorded recent "unusual deployment" of a passenger-side airbag at a scrap yard in Japan.

A Takata airbag inflator in a MY2003 Toyota Will Cypha unusually exploded at a scrapyard in central Japan in November, prompting Toyota to recall 185,000 MY2003 vehicles equipped with the same type of inflator, which were produced at the supplier’s Monclova site in Mexico.

Honda’s recall covers around 400,000 vehicles globally, including about 177,000 in Japan and includes 11 models like the Stream minivan, Fit/Jazz subcompact and Civic hybrid built in 2003. Honda’s recall also covers around 100,000 cars in Europe and 70,000 in Asia-Pacific.

According to a Honda spokeswoman, the carmaker would have to allocate more reserves to pay for the latest recalls and would voluntarily expand globally a region-specific recall limited to certain humid areas in the United States. So far since 2008, Honda has recalled around 13.4 million vehicles around the world over possibly faulty Takata airbag inflators.

Half of those were to probe the root cause of the defects. According to Honda, if they determined the root and Takata is at fault, it would push for a reimbursement of some or the entire recall costs from the supplier.

Nissan, meanwhile, said its global recall would cover MY2003-2004 152,000 cars -- including 82,000 in Japan, 49,000 in Europe and 6,000 in China. On the other hand, Mitsubishi will recall 304 Lancer sedans in Japan only.

Around a dozen carmakers have already recalled around 3.05 million vehicles in Japan. The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urged Takata in November to expand its regional recall into a national one, but the Japanese supplier refused.

The refusal effectively placed the burden for voluntary recalls on its carmaker-customers.

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