150,000 UK cars recalled by Japanese manufacturers over airbag concerns

Over 150,000 cars are to be recalled in the UK by Japanese car manufacturers after safety concerns over malfunctioning airbags.

Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda will be recalling an estimated 3.4 million cars worldwide after concerns were reported on 2nd April by Takata, according to Japan’s transport ministry.

The fault has been confirmed as pressure produced by passenger side airbags potentially causing the metal inflator component to rupture, risking small shards flying out of the airbag with potential to cause injury.

Toyota confirmed they would be recalling 76,000 cars across the UK, totalling at 1.73m worldwide, based on five cases of airbags inflating incorrectly in Japan and in the US, none of which had resulted in injury.

The Toyota recall affects cars registered between November 2000 and March 2004, carrying a plate number between X and 54. The affected models are the Corolla, Picnic and Camry cars.

Nissan’s recall affects its X-Trail, Patrol, Almera, Almera Tino, Terrano II and Navara models built between 2000 and 2004, totalling 59,058 vehicles in the UK and 480,000 across the world.

Honda will recall 15,475 cars in the UK and 1.13m worldwide, the majority CR-V models made between 2002 and 2003, as well as Stream vehicles made between 2001 and 2003.

Mazda is to recall 45,463 vehicles globally, but none in the UK.

Honda denied it was a quality control issue brought about by an increasingly rapid production system.

A spokesperson for the company, who are Japan’s second largest car manufacturer, said: “It was something that surprised and certainly not something we take lightly,” highlighting Honda’s past awards for quality and reliability.

“Quality is everything and unlike other manufacturers, we don’t have as many variants so things like this are very rate indeed,” they added.

All companies confirmed they will be writing to customers in the coming weeks to inform them of the process.

The recall remedy will involve inspection of the front passenger air bag, and, if equipped with an affected inflator, the inflator will be replaced with a newly manufactured one at no charge to the owner.

It has led to calls for an increased emphasis on health and safety when companies negotiate supply chain contracts.