By Matt Schmitz, KickingTires
Four Japanese automakers — Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda — have announced a voluntary recall of 3 million vehicles worldwide because of possibly faulty airbags; more than a million of those vehicles are in the U.S.
According to the automakers, the problem lies in the front-passenger airbag inflator, which in affected vehicles could deploy with too much pressure due to improperly manufactured propellant wafers, causing the inflator casing to rupture. This could result in injuries to passengers, though none have been reported. The airbags were manufactured by Japan's Takata Corp., a major world supplier of airbags.
According to Toyota, affected vehicles in the U.S. include 510,000 Toyota Corolla compact sedans, Matrix compact hatchbacks, Sequoia SUVs and Tundra pickup trucks, as well as Lexus SC 430 sport coupes, all manufactured between 2001 and 2003. According to news reports, Toyota is recalling 1.7 million vehicles worldwide.
Toyota said it will notify owners by mail. Dealers will inspect the front-passenger airbag; if it is equipped with an affected inflator, the inflator will be replaced with a new one for free. Toyota owners can go to www.toyota.com/recall or call Toyota customer service at 800-331-4331; Lexus owners can go to www.lexus.com/recall or call Lexus customer service at 800-255-3987.
Honda is voluntarily recalling 426,000 2001-03 Civic sedans, 43,000 2002-03 CR-V compact crossovers and 92,000 2002 Odyssey minivans in the U.S. According to news reports, Honda is recalling 1.1 million vehicles worldwide.
Owners of affected Honda vehicles will be notified by mail starting in late May and are encouraged to take their vehicles to a dealer for inspection and repair if necessary, Honda said. Owners can determine if their vehicles require inspection by going to www.recalls.honda.com or by calling 800-999-1009 and selecting option 4.
According to The Detroit News, Nissan is recalling 480,000 vehicles worldwide and Mazda is recalling 45,000 vehicles worldwide. Specific U.S. numbers and affected model years and vehicles were not immediately available from Nissan or Mazda. The New York Times reported that the 480,000 Nissans being recalled worldwide include 2000-04 Maxima sedans, Infiniti FX crossovers, Infiniti QX4 SUVs, Pathfinder SUVs and Sentra compact sedans; and that 20,000 Mazdas were being recalled worldwide, including 2003-04 Mazda6 sedans and 2004 RX-8 sports cars.