Nearly 3 million more Nissan, Mazda and Honda vehicles have been recalled related to potentially faulty, and painful, airbag deployment issues that are currently under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Nissan, Honda and Mazda each announced they were recalling vehicles equipped with the potentially faulty airbags, bringing the total number of affected cars to roughly 10 million in the past five years, Reuters reports.
The recalls, which began last year, stem from issues with both passenger- and driver-side airbags. According to a NHTSA notification [PDF] of the original recall, a defect in the frontal airbags could produce excessive internal pressure causing the inflator to rupture upon deployment. At times, pieces of the airbag module can forcefully fly out striking occupants.
According to the New York Times, Honda is recalling 2.03 million vehicles, including the 2000-2005 Fit, Element and CR-V models. Nissan is recalling an additional 755,000 vehicles, including the Cube, X-Trail and some Infinity models produced between 2001 and 2003, while Mazda said it would recall 159,807 Atenza and RX-8 vehicles made between 2002 and 2004.
Additionally, Nissan and Chrysler are conducting regional recalls to replace the airbag inflators in vehicles located in high humidity regions of Puerto Rico, Florida, Hawaii and the Virgin Islands.
Reuters reports that since the airbag issue first came to light in 2013, BMW, Mazda, Toyota, Honda and Nissan have recalled more than 7.6 million vehicles.
The most recent issues with Takata airbags began nearly two weeks ago when Toyota reissued the 2013 recall of more than 766,300 vehicles because the company may have received an incomplete list of potentially defective airbags from the car part manufacturer.
Just a day later, NHTSA announced an investigation [PDF] into whether Takata airbags made after 2002 were prone to failing after receiving six reports of airbag ruptures in Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mazda and Chrysler vehicles. Regulators are also looking to determine if high-humidity climates contributed to the reported airbag explosions.
In a letter [PDF] to NHTSA on June 11, officials with Takata detail the company’s dealing with regulators and say both the supplier and car manufacturers are not admitting to any “safety defect” just yet.
During a June 5, 2014 conference call, you and other ODI officials requested that Takata support field actions by vehicle manufacturers to replace potentially suspect inflators in vehicles originally sold in or currently registered in Florida and Puerto Rico, and other states with similarly high
levels of absolute humidity. ODI proposed that the selection of the inflators to be replaced in these field actions should be based on the dates of the six incidents (separately for driver-side inflators and passenger-side inflators), with a “buffer” period of twelve months before and after those dates to maximize confidence that any potentially problematic inflators would be included.
These requested field actions would be analogous to “regional recalls.” However, at the meeting, Takata stated, and you agreed, that since the currently available information does not
indicate that any Takata inflators- other than those in vehicles that were previously recalled- contain a safety defect, neither Takata nor the vehicle manufacturers conducting these field actions would be expected to admit that its products contain such a defect.
Honda, Nissan and Mazda Join Recall Over Faulty Air Bags [The New York Times]