Front air bags have saved 25,782 lives between 1987 and 2008.
Four major Japanese automakers are recalling about 3.4 million cars worldwide because of possible airbag problems.
Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mazda said separately Thursday that abnormal inflation of passenger-side airbags was the reason for the recall.
The companies said the defective airbags, which were made by Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corp, could burst or cause a fire. No injuries or deaths have been reported.
Honda is recalling 1.1 million vehicles, including the Civic and Odyssey models. Toyota is recalling 1.7 million vehicles, including the Corolla, Corolla Matrix, Sequoia, and Tundra, and Lexus SC 430 models. Nissan says the defective airbags were found in 480,000 cars made in Japan between 2000 and 2004. Nissan is recalling certain model year 2001-2003 Maxima, Pathfinder, and Infiniti I35; model year 2002-2003 Infiniti QX4; and model year 2003 Infiniti FX35 and FX45 and possibly certain Sentra vehicles. Mazda is recalling 45,000 units worldwide. Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
Information on the specific manufacturers follow these links:
Takata has determined that the inflators in certain frontal passenger-side air bag inflators it manufactured and supplied to various vehicle manufacturers may produce excessive internal pressure causing the inflators to rupture upon deployment of the air bag.
In the event of a crash resulting in a deployment of the passenger’s air bag, the inflator could rupture, with metal fragments striking and potentially seriously injuring the passenger seat occupant or other occupants.
Owners of all vehicles on which a defective air bag may have been installed either as original equipment, or as a replacement, will be notified by their respective vehicle manufacturers. Dealers will inspect vehicles, and where a defective air bag inflator is identified, the inflator will be replaced, free of charge. Owners may contact their vehicle manufacturer for more information.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov..