This year, there have been several voluntary recalls issued by automakers. So far, the recalls have been limited to a specific automaker or type of vehicle that limited the number of cars affected. For example, there have been 10 air bag-related recalls this year in the U.S.
However, automakers on Thursday became part of the biggest auto-safety move of the year as they recalled over 1.3 million vehicles in the U.S. due to the risk of faulty airbags deploying and possibly injuring passengers.
Worldwide, the recall affects roughly 3 million vehicles and makes this the 11th air bag-related recall in the U.S. this year; 2012 had 22.
Automakers such as BMW, Toyota, General Motors, Honda, Mazda and Nissan have issued recalls urging owners of older vehicles to bring in their cars to dealerships so mechanics can look them over. They may need to replace faulty canisters that contain the propellant that is needed to inflate the airbags.
The focus has been on “over aggressive” propellants in canisters that has the potential to inflate an air bag and cause it to rip, tear or even throw off shrapnel. If this were to happen, it would obviously lose its’ effectiveness according to Takata, the Japanese company responsible for manufacturing them.
Takata is no stranger to big recalls as in 1995, they were forced to replace millions of seatbelts because of defective buckles.
Recently, there were hints that Takata was having issues with their air bags. Back in December of 2011, Honda needed to launch the fourth expansion of a recall involving overly powerful driver’s-side air bags that had the potential to spit out shrapnel as well as maim or kill. The problem resulted in 19 injuries and two deaths.
The executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, Clarence Ditlow, said “The only mystery is why it took so long” for the recall to expand to vehicles from other makers and to the passenger side.
Takata and automakers say that so far, no injuries have been reported with the Passenger-side air bags. However, incidents have been reported where cars involved in crashes had airbags that did not deploy correctly. Four cases happened in the U.S. while two were reported in Japan.
Though the majority of vehicles involved in the recall are roughly a decade old, the problem was not known until 2011 as Takata said in there filing it was then that they were first made aware of the issue. Hideyuki Matsumoto, another spokesman for Takata, said, “When the last recall took place, we inspected everything such as the site of manufacturing, but we were not able to identify this problem.”
BMW has said that it is still trying to ascertain which models should be included in the recall. As for the other makers, there are many models that are part of the recall.
Toyota vehicles that are involved include certain Corolla, Corolla Matrix, Sequoia and Tundra and Lexus SC 430 in the 2001 to 2003 year models.
Honda models include certain Civics, CR-Vs and Odysseys from 2001 to 2003.
For Nissan, besides the Sentra, Maxima and Pathfinder, other models that are included involve the QX4 and the Infiniti I35 from 2001 to 2003.
Mazda vehicles involved are some of the Mazda6 sedans from 2003 and 2004 RX-8(only 149 vehicles are involved).
GM’s 2003 Pontiac Vibe, which happened to be made alongside Toyota’s Corolla, is said to be included.
When the recall was announced during Japanese trading hours, Takata’s shares were hit harder than those of automakers, which typically carry reserves for warranty and recall costs.
Takata, known as the world’s second largest supplier of seatbelts and airbags, watched their shares drastically drop roughly 10 percent in Tokyo trading. The announcement from Takata is the largest recall ever for airbags by the company, which most likely influenced the drop in Takata shares.
Toyota Among Four Japan Car Makers To Recall Vehicles Over Airbag Fault
Four Japanese automakers – Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mazda – are recalling some 3.4 million vehicles world-wide because of an airbag problem, the companies said on Thursday.
Toyota, Honda, Nissan Recall 3M+ Cars Over Airbag
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