[TOKYO] Japanese automakers on Thursday recalled around 1.3 million cars at home as part of an expanded recall of potentially faulty air bags from Takata Corp, with some planning more recalls overseas which could affect over 1 million additional cars.
Automakers worldwide are ramping up the industry's biggest-ever recall after parts supplier Takata, under pressure from the US government, agreed last month to declare more of its air bags as defective in the United States. Japan's transport ministry has also ordered more air bags to be recalled at home.
Takata's air bag inflators can explode with excessive force after prolonged exposure to hot conditions, and have been linked to around 150 injuries and 14 deaths, mainly in the United States.
Mazda Motor Corp said it planned to recall about 1.57 million vehicles worldwide, including 490,000 vehicles recalled in Japan on Thursday, while a recall by Mitsubishi Motors Corp affected around 520,000 cars in Japan.
Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd recalled 290,000 of its Subaru vehicles from the Japanese market.
Mazda recalled its Demio subcompact model, along with its Bongo van and the RX-8 sports car in Japan. The company said affected vehicles were produced in 2003-2016 and that its vans required replacements for driver-side air bags, while the remaining recalls were for passenger-side air bags.
The automaker said that models including the Mazda 2, as the Demio is known overseas, would be recalled overseas, including in the United States and China, without offering further details.
Mitsubishi Motors said Thursday's recall affected vehicles made in 2006-2016 and included its Delica MPV and Pajero SUV models which use Takata-made driver-side air bags.
Passenger-side air bags would be replaced in its eK Wagon, eK Sport, Pajero Mini and Toppo mini vehicle models, along with mini vehicle models made for Nissan Motor Co Ltd.
Mitsubishi said that a total of around 92,000 Delicas and Pajeros had been exported overseas, and would likely be recalled at a later date.
Fuji Heavy Industries said that it was recalling its Subaru Legacy sedans produced in 2003-2009 for the Japanese market over passenger-side air bags, expanding a similar recall announced in the United States last month.
Since US transportation authorities expanded its recall last month, roughly 100 million Takata air bag inflators have been classified as defective worldwide.
One of the world's largest suppliers of auto safety equipment, Takata has been searching for a financial backer to help it overhaul the business and carry ballooning costs, as the company faces recall-related payments and lawsuits.