Mazda, Mitsubishi Motors Add 2 Million Autos to Takata Recalls

  • Recall expansions prompted by ninth U.S. fatality in December
  • Mitsubishi Motors still deciding recalls of exported vehicles

Mazda Motor Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. added more than 2 million vehicles to worldwide recalls linked to Takata Corp. air bags in response to the latest confirmed death caused by the rupturing safety devices.

Mazda is calling back 1.89 million vehicles globally, spokesman Misato Kobayashi said by phone. Mitsubishi Motors will recall 152,678 vehicles in Japan and is still determining how many vehicles it will call back that use the same air bag inflators and were exported to overseas markets, spokesman Kai Inada said.

The latest recalls, prompted by a ninth U.S. fatality in December, adds to the tab of recall costs that Takata will have to negotiate divvying up with automakers. Total costs of recalls related to the air bag inflators, which can deploy with too much force and spray metal and plastic at motorists, may reach $5.2 billion to replace 40 million units, according to estimates from Valient Market Research.

Mazda and Mitsubishi Motors have now called back more than 5.5 million vehicles combined worldwide, excluding the exported vehicles Mitsubishi Motors is still evaluating whether to recall.

Carmakers including Honda Motor Co. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. have set aside higher provisions for Takata-related recall costs in the current fiscal year, while Daimler AG booked a 340 million euro ($378 million) charge that cut into the profit it reported earlier this month.

Takata is preparing to present a restructuring plan to automakers in early May that will include an agreement on the sharing of recall costs, people familiar with the matter have said.

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