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Honda, Nissan Widen Air-Bag Recalls Following Japan Rupture

In this April 21, 2005 file photo, a

In this April 21, 2005 file photo, a model poses by a Honda's CR-V at Auto Shanghai 2005 exhibition in Shanghai, China. Honda, Mazda and Nissan are recalling millions of vehicles globally for defective airbags manufactured by supplier Takata Corp. that could possibly explode. Credit: AP

Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. followed Toyota Motor Corp. in widening global air-bag recalls after one of the devices made by Takata Corp. ruptured in a junked car at a Japan scrapyard.

Honda will recall about 400,000 more vehicles including the Fit compact, while Nissan will replace air bags in about 152,000 cars such as the Presage multi-purpose vehicle, according to the companies. Both of the expansions exclude
vehicles added to U.S. safety campaigns.

The latest recalls will add to the more than 13 million cars Honda has called back globally to replace Takata air bags that can deploy with too much force and spew metal parts at motorists. Honda has tapped two alternative air-bag
suppliers to make substitute parts after Takata’s devices have been linked to four fatalities in the U.S. and the death of a pregnant woman and her unborn child in Malaysia.

Honda and Nissan’s recalls today follow an air-bag rupture in a 2003 Toyota WiLL Cypha that shattered the subcompact’s windshield during dismantling at a scrapyard in Japan’s central Gifu prefecture last month, said Mamoru
Nishimura, a transportation ministry official.

While Toyota is still examining the cause, carmakers have decided to call back the vehicles to make sure similar incidents won’t occur with vehicles in use. Toyota said last week it would call back about 190,000 autos in Japan and China, including the Corolla model.

Honda Costs

Honda will bear the costs for precautionary recalls and is determining the size of the loss provision it will need to book as a result, spokeswoman Akemi Ando told reporters today in Tokyo. Daicel Corp. and Autoliv Inc. will both begin to supply replacement air-bag inflators to the carmaker within about six months, she said.

The air bag in the Toyota WiLL Cypha was the seventh to have ruptured at scrapyards in Japan since June 2012, where 350,000 of the devices made by Takata are evaluated and recycled every year, according to the transport ministry.

The previous six ruptures — four in Honda’s Fit and two in Toyota’s Corolla — were reported in the summer of 2012 and led to an additional 3 million vehicles being recalled globally.

Honda and other carmakers have also widened recalls after Takata resisted expanding some regional U.S. campaigns. Honda has voluntarily recalled the affected driver-side air bags globally, while Mazda Motor Corp. said it’s considering similar actions.

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