Honda Motor Co. (7267) and Nissan Motor Co. (7201) recalled almost 3 million vehicles to repair flaws in Takata Corp. (7312) air bags, adding to a call back by Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) earlier this month.
Honda’s announcement covers 2.03 million vehicles, including the Fit compact and CR-V sport utility vehicle, according to Akemi Ando, a spokeswoman for the Tokyo-based carmaker. About 755,000 of Nissan’s cars need to be fixed worldwide, said Chris Keeffe, a spokesman for the automaker.
Japan’s three biggest carmakers have called back more than 5 million vehicles this month because of air bags. The announcements come as scrutiny of potential safety flaws rises in the auto industry, with General Motors Co. (GM) facing investigations for taking years to recall millions of vehicles for faulty ignition switches.
“We expected there would be more recalls of this size from other carmakers,” Koji Endo, an analyst at Advanced Research Japan, said by phone.
The air-bag flaws were related to inadequate pressure and excess moisture during their production, Ando told reporters today in Tokyo.
Takata rose 2.9 percent to 2,111 yen as of the close of trading in Tokyo, paring this year’s decline to 30 percent. The benchmark Topix index has dropped 2.7 percent this year.
Carmakers called back more than 3 million vehicles, including 1.73 million for Toyota and 1.14 million for Honda, in April last year because of defective air bag inflators supplied by Tokyo-based Takata.
Honda, the biggest customer of Takata, has called back a total of 6 million vehicles for problems with Takata air bags in nine recalls since 2008, based on figures from the carmaker. Two people died in 2009 in accidents related to the defect, Ando said.
Toyota this month said 2.27 million of its cars worldwide are affected by the recall. A recall last year didn’t include all vehicles affected by the defective air bag inflators, Toyota has said.
Mazda Motor Corp. recalled 159,807 vehicles, Takashi Goto, a spokesman for the carmaker, said by phone today.
“We apologize for the trouble caused to our clients,” said Kikko Takai, a Takata spokeswoman. “We take it seriously and will strengthen our quality control to prevent a repeat of the issue.”
At GM, the biggest U.S. automaker, Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra has been coping with a recall crisis throughout 2014. Last week, she was grilled for almost three hours by a House subcommittee on the slow recall of faulty ignition switches and whether GM’s culture can change.
(An earlier version of this story was corrected to fix the share price.)
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