CAPE TOWN - Honda, Mazda, Toyota and Nissan are recalling millions of vehicles globally for defective air bags made by supplier Takata that have the potential to "explode".
PART OF A MASSIVE RECALL: Honda SA says a small number of its models in South Africa, built from 2001 to 2003 (such as its Jazz pictured here), will be recalled due to defective airbags. Image: Honda
No crashes have been reported related to Monday's (June 23 2014) recall. Takata is a major manufacturer of air bags, seat belts, steering-wheels and other auto parts.
In April and May 2013 Takata's customers, led by Honda and Toyota, recalled more than four-million vehicles due to the risk that defective air-bag inflators could blow apart and shoot metal shards into vehicle cabins in a crash.
SA HONDAS TO BE CHECKED
As a precautionary measure, Honda SA will recall "a small number of 2001-03 model years CR-V, Accord, Civic and Jazz units".
According to Honda SA: "Takata, Honda’s air-bag supplier, has informed us of the occurrence of an air bag failure involving a non-Honda vehicle.
"In certain vehicles, the front passenger's air-bag inflator could produce excessive internal pressure. If an affected bag deploys, the increased internal pressure may cause the inflator to rupture.
"In the event of an inflator rupture, metal fragments could be propelled upward toward the windshield, or downward toward the front passenger footwell, potentially causing injury.
Honda SA reports that vehicle owners will be contacted or customers can call Honda Motors Southern Africa on 0800 466321 or email.
MILLIONS OF VEHICLES AFFECTED
Takata and Honda told US safety regulators that the core of the problem was how the explosive material used to inflate Takata air-bags had been handled and processed from 2000 through 2002 at plants in the US and Mexico.
The 2013 recalls involving Honda and four other automakers were intended to close the book on a problem that emerged in 2007 and had already been linked to two deaths. Takata reported that that the earlier recall had not included all of the problem airbags.
NISSAN TO RECALL OVER 700 000
Nissan recalled 755 000 vehicles globally manufactured from 2001 - 2003, while Mazda recalled nearly 160 000 vehicles manufactured from 2002 through 2004. Both companies announced recalls in 2013 but in smaller numbers.
Nissan vehicles affected are its Cube, X-Trail and some Infiniti models. Recalled at Mazda were its Atenza and RX-8.
Nissan South Africa reports that local vehicles are not affected by its recall.
TOYOTA: SA COROLLAS AFFECTED
Toyota announced an airbag recall earlier in June 2014 affecting 2.27-million vehicles, including some that were recalled in 2013. One fire was reported related to the defect, but no one was injured in that incident, Toyota said.
Toyota was also investigating a crash in Puerto Rico in which the driver suffered a minor cut on the forehead which may have been caused by an abnormal passenger-side airbag deployment. Toyota's affected models include the Corolla, Matrix, Tundra, Yaris and Camry.
On Monday (June 22 2014) Toyota announced Corollas sold in South Africa would be affected.
According to Toyota SA: "Only Corollas built from April 2002 - June 2003 are affected in South Africa. This equates to 4349 units locally.
"Toyota will call customers based on VIN numbers and try to track down current owners, since most of these cars would probably have been sold as second-hand, to come in to dealers. The process will take about an hour."
HONDA'S MASSIVE RECALL
On Monday (June 23), Wheels24 reported that Honda recalled 2.03 million vehicles, including 1.02 million in North America and nearly 669 000 in Japan. Honda reports that models affected were manufactured from 2000 - 2005.
That came on top of a million vehicles Honda recalled in 2013 due to similar Takata airbag problems. The models recalled include the Fit (Jazz in SA), Element and CR-V.
Automakers that have issued recalls:
Toyota recall: Over 4000 SA Corollas affected
Exploding airbags: Nissan Mazda issue recalls
'Exploding' airbags: 2-million Hondas recalled