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Honda, Nissan and Toyota recall 3.4m cars over faulty airbags

More than three million cars have been recalled worldwide by Japanese car makers Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda, including thousands in the UK. The Honda, Nissan and Toyota recall cites problems with faulty airbag inflators, which cause incorrect inflation on the passenger side. The defective inflators were manufactured by Japanese safety-gear maker Takata Corp. between 2000 and 2002.

Toyota Motor Co. recall

According to Toyota spokeswoman Shino Yamada., the inflators on the passenger side could cause the airbag to deploy abnormally during a crash, sending hazardous plastic peices flying.

“Improperly manufactured propellant wafers could cause the inflator to rupture and the front passenger airbag to deploy abnormally in the event of a crash.” said Shino Yamada.

Five incidents of the inflators malfunctioning have already been reported in the USA and Japan. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries.

Toyota models affected by the recall include the Camry and Corolla built between November 2000 and March 2004.

“The involved vehicles are equipped with front-passenger airbag inflators which could have been assembled with improperly manufactured propellant wafers,” said Toyota in a statement.

Honda Motor Co. recall

Honda has recalled about 15,475 vehicles in the UK alone, most of which are CR-V models made between 2002 and 2003 and also Stream vehicles made between 2001 and 2003.

According to Honda spokeswoman Akemi Ando, the Honda, Nissan and Toyota recall was necessitated by two human errors seen during the production of the airbags.

A worker at Takata Corp. forgot to turn on the switch for a system that detects defective products and parts of the airbags were stored improperly, exposing them to humidity.

"Anyone affected will be contacted in the next few weeks," Ms. Akemi said, adding that should any repair be needed, the repair work would only take about an hour and a half.

The company also confirmed that the recall is Honda’s biggest since 1995. The most recent recall was in 2010 when it recalled 437,763 vehicles to inspect for faulty airbag modules. The faulty airbag modules were also supplied by Takata.

Nissan Motor Co. recall

Nissan said it was recalling 59,058 of its cars sold in the UK, including the X-Trail, Patrol, Almera, Almera Tino, Navara and Terrano II models built between 2000 and 2004.

Moreover, the Honda, Nissan and Toyota recall also affects 1,913 Mazda 6 models in the UK build between 2002 and 2003.

Takata stocks plummet

Following the Honda, Nissan and Toyota recall, Takata Corp., the second-biggest car safety-gear maker, saw its shares fall 9% to close at 1,819 yen in Tokyo. This was the sharpest drop in two months.

Meanwhile, Takata’s main competitor, Autoliv Inc. (ALV), the world’s biggest maker of airbags, saw its stoke rise by as much as 1.6% in Stockholm.

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