April 11 - Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda recall 3.4 million vehicles worldwide for airbag flaw. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The Daily Digit is 3.4 million. Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda are recalling 3.4 million vehicles around the world because airbags they used are at risk of catching fire or injuring passengers. This is the largest recall since Toyota pulled back more than 7 million vehicles in October. And it involves some top-selling Japanese cars, including the Toyota Camry and Corolla, the Nissan Maxima and the Honda Civic. All of the vehicles in question were manufactured in or after 2000. Toyota, Honda and Nissan said there are no reports of injuries or deaths because of the defective airbags. Why the widespread recall? Analysts say the problem is that automakers increasingly rely on a handful of suppliers for common or similar parts as a cost control measure. In this case, it was a Japanese company Takata, the world's second largest maker of airbags and seatbelts that was the supplier. Some non-Japanese automakers were also supplied with the faulty airbags, but Takata spokesman declined to name them. Takata could get hit in the wallet but the automakers - not so much - since they typically set aside reserves to cover recalls and warranty costs.