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5/15/2013 - Airbag recall affects multiple automakers

A recall of cars manufactured by major Japanese automakers was ordered due to potential airbag safety issues.

Several foreign automakers are recalling millions of vehicles due to a safety flaw that may impact some of their models.

Japanese carmakers Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda are all recalling a combined 3.4 million vehicles after testing procedures found that their airbags used in certain models have the risk of catching fire after deploying, potentially causing serious injury to passengers.

Paul Newton, IHS Automotive analyst, indicated that this recall comes at a bad time for manufacturers like Toyota, a company that's been plagued by a host of safety issues over the past few years.

"The huge recall is expected to generate a good deal of unwelcome attention, particularly for Toyota, as it strives to rebuild its reputation for quality in North America," said Newton, according to Reuters.

The recall concerns airbags that were made by a company called Takata - based out of Japan - which manufactures both seatbelts and airbags for a host of automakers both foreign and domestic. It became aware of the safety flaw back in 2011, but it wasn't until recently that the issue had far-reaching effects.

Among specific automakers, the scale of the recall varies. For example, Honda is recalling 1.1 million vehicles both in Europe and America, including the models Civic, CR-V and Odyssey. Toyota, meanwhile, is recalling 1.7 million models such as the Corolla, Tundra and Lexus SC.

While airbags have been known to save thousands of lives after people have been involved in an accident serious enough to require an auto insurance claim, safety flaws can have the opposite effect. In addition, because they are deployed at a high speed after a crash, they have been known to cause injury.

Motorists are encouraged to get in touch with their auto manufacturer to determine if their model year is included in the recall.

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