Japanese automakers Honda, Nissan, and Mazda issued recalls for possibly almost 3 million vehicles combined Monday, specifically affecting cars registered or sold in southern US states with high absolute humidity.
The three automakers recalled vehicles for faulty airbags from Takata Corp., a Japanese auto part supplier. The airbags have a defect in them that could make them explode.
“It is possible that front airbag inflators in affected vehicles may deploy with too much pressure, which may cause the inflator casing to rupture and could result in injury,” Honda's American operations said in a statement.
The recalls are based on information the car companies have received from Takata. It supplements a 2013 global recall for the same issue, Dan Bedore, director of Nissan's product communications, says in email to the Monitor. That recall affected 6 million vehicles from several car companies including Nissan, Honda, and Mazda.
Honda Motor Co. hasn’t determined exactly how many vehicles have been affected, but the automaker estimates that its advisory, which is made up by three separate recalls in all, will include more than 2 million cars in the US. Nissan Motor Co. recalled 755,000 vehicles globally from model years 2001 through 2003, Mr. Bedore says. Mazda Motor Corp. recalled nearly 160,000 vehicles manufactured from 2002 through 2004, according to the Associated Press.
With this recall, the affected vehicles are ones sold in areas in the South. Two of Honda's three recalls are specific to US states and territories with high absolute humidity, the company says. The states and territories include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.
Takata has been working with the National Highway Transit Safety Agency on the investigation, chief executive Shigehisa Takada says in a June 20 statement, but he stands by the company's products’ quality. There had been six incidents that prompted the investigation, all in Florida and Puerto Rico, Mr. Takada says.
“We currently believe the high levels of absolute humidity in those states are important factors,” he says. “As a result our engineers are analyzing the impact that humidity may have on the potential for an inflator malfunction, as well as other possible contributing factors.”
Honda is aware of one injury that involves a driver’s front airbag, but hasn’t heard about any other injuries or deaths relating to defected airbags, the company says.
Earlier this month, Toyota Motor Co. issued a recall for 2.27 million vehicles over faulty airbags. Toyota also uses Takata airbags in its products.