The list of affected vehicles – which were all produced during the first half of last decade – includes roughly 1.73 million Toyota Motor Corp cars, 1.14 million Hondas, 480,000 Nissans and more than 45,000 Mazdas.
Reuters reports the front passenger airbag recall is the largest in 18 years for Takata, which is the second biggest supplier of airbags and seatbelts in the world.
The recall relates to a manufacturing defect with the propellant used in the airbag inflator, which may cause the airbag to inflate incorrectly. Airbags may deploy with too much pressure, rupturing the inflator casing and potentially resulting in injury, while also potentially posing a fire risk.
Reuters says Takata first learned of the problem more than 18 months ago when an incorrect airbag deployment was reported in Japan in October 2011.
The manufacturer could not replicate the issue in testing during the first half of last year, despite a further four incidents being reported.
By October last year Takata had identified a potential issue with the propellant used in certain airbags, and last month isolated the issue to inflators produced at a plant in Mexico over a 12-month period between 2001 and 2002.
Honda Australia is recalling 9980 vehicles related to the airbag fault, including 2001-2003 Civic, 2002-2003 CR-V (above) and 2003 Jazz models. Honda Australia public relations manager Melissa Cross confirmed there had been no reported incidents or injuries relating to the defect locally, and said the car maker would contact owners by mail shortly after the technical details of the recall service were finalised.
Toyota Australia has recalled approximately 1700 Corolla (top) and Avensis Verso (above) vehicles produced between November 2000 and March 2004. Like Honda, the carmaker says no accidents or injuries have been reported locally. Toyota will contact owners by mail asking them to make an appointment to complete the recall service. Affected vehicles will be inspected and, if required, the airbag inflator will be replaced at no cost to owners in a service that will take between one and 2.5 hours.
Nissan Australia has recalled 11,360
Pulsar and X-Trail models built between 2000 and 2004. There have been no local reports of any incidents relating to the defect. Nissan is contacting owners by mail encouraging them to arrange an inspection and, if necessary, rectification of the front passenger airbag inflator.
Mazda Australia has recalled 468 first-generation Mazda 6 models produced between 2002 and 2003, with no airbag defects reported locally, while BMW has also been impacted by the fault resulting in 3300 BMW 3 Series vehicles built in 2002 and 2003.