German Makers Recall 2.3 Million U.S. Vehicles for Takata Bags

  • Recalls are part of 5.1 million Takata flagged in January
  • Daimler, BMW each flag about 840,000 autos; VW, 680,000

Daimler AG,  Volkswagen AG and  BMW AG recalled about 2.3 million U.S. vehicles since Tuesday to replace potentially defective Takata Corp. air bags.

The recalls, detailed in company statements and government filings, are part of the 5.1 million vehicle recall expansion that Takata telegraphed to U.S. regulators in late January. The German companies join Honda Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co., both of which already widened recalls following the ninth U.S. fatality tied to Takata’s safety devices.

“The Takata recall has been really long and drawn out and there’s been a lot of confusion -- it’s been unclear exactly which models,” said Rebecca Lindland, a senior analyst at vehicle research firm Kelley Blue Book. With some replacement parts not even available until summer, now the “biggest issue is when can they fix them,” she said.

Costs are mounting for the largest consumer-safety recall in U.S. history, as automakers replace the Japanese supplier’s inflators that can deploy with too much force, spraying shrapnel at passengers. Daimler on Tuesday said its recall of about 841,000 vehicles will cost 340 million euros ($384 million) and cut into the profit it reported last week for 2015. The latest recalls reached about 680,000 vehicles for VW and 840,000 for BMW.

Daimler will repair about 705,000 Mercedes-Benz cars and 136,000 Daimler vans, according to a company statement. The expense will reduce group net income for last year to 8.7 billion euros from the 8.94 billion euros outlined on Feb. 4. Daimler rose 0.3 percent to 59.30 euros in Frankfurt. The shares have dropped 24 percent this year.

Honda said last week that it will recall an additional 5.7 million vehicles globally, including 2.2 million in the U.S. Also included in the latest recalls were Mazda Motor Corp. and Saab Automobile.