Four Japanese carmakers – Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda – are recalling a total of 3.4 million vehicles worldwide to fix faulty airbags.
They are made by a Japanese company – Takata – which also supplies carmakers outside Japan, including Daimler and Ford.
The problem is that some front passenger seat airbags may not deploy correctly due to defective propellant and the bags’ inflators will have to be replaced.
No injuries or deaths have been reported as a result of the faulty airbags, Toyota said.
The size of the recall underscores the risk of huge global supply chain problems as manufacturers rely more and more on a handful of suppliers for common – or similar – parts to cut costs.
Takata’s shares tumbled almost 10 percent on word of the recall.
It is not yet known how much the process will cost. “The inflators themselves are not so expensive, but there is the cost to cover for the hours spent to fix the problem,” said Kohei Takahashi, a car industry analyst at JP Morgan in Japan.