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Airbag Recall Affects Millions Of Japanese Brand Vehicles

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(Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

jeffgilbert Jeff Gilbert
Automotive reporter for WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBS Radio News....
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TOKYO (WWJ/AP) - Four Japanese carmakers are recalling a total of 3.4 million vehicles because of airbag problems. The recall impacts a number of models from Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda.

“The reason all four carmakers are reporting the same problem is they all have the same supplier,” says Katie Kerwin of AutoBeat Daily.

It’s becoming more common to see recalls that impact multiple companies, as major automakers tend to use the same suppliers, especially for parts like airbags, that customers never see.

In this case, there were issues with the airbag on the passenger side.

“The involved vehicles are equipped with front passenger airbag inflators which could have been assembled with improperly manufactured propellant wafers,” read a statement from Toyota. “Improperly manufactured propellant wafers could cause the inflator to rupture and the front passenger airbag to deploy abnormally in the event of a crash.”

The recall effects multiple models, and could be expanded if car companies discover other vehicles with the issue Owners will receive specific instructions in the mail.

Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 1.7 million vehicles, with some 580,000 in North America, another 490,000 in Europe and 320,000 in Japan. Affected models include the Corolla, Tundra, Lexus SC, produced between November 2000 and March 2004. Toyota said it had received five reports of air-bag problems, three in the U.S. and two in Japan, but there have been no injuries.

Honda Motor Co. is recalling 1.1 million vehicles. About 680,000 are in North America, 270,000 in Japan and 64,000 in Europe. The models include the Civic, CR-V and Odyssey.

Nissan Motor Co. recalled 480,000 vehicles globally, some 137,000 of them in Japan, for the air bag problem. The Yokohama-based automaker said vehicles in North America and Europe are affected, but did not immediately have other details on its 343,000 overseas recalls. Recalled models in Japan include the Cube, X-Trail, Maxima and Teana, made from August 2000, to January 2004, spokesman Chris Keeffe said.

Also affected under the same recall were the RX-8 and Mazda 6 at Mazda Motor Corp. The Hiroshima-based automaker said 45,000 vehicles were recalled, including 4,000 in Japan. It did not give numbers for other regions, but said recalls will be announced in North America, Europe, China and other nations.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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