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Japanese carmakers expand Takata airbag recall

Jun 25, 2015, 5:44 AM EDT
Japan's auto parts maker Takata chairman and president Shigehisa Takata speaks about the global recall of the company's airbags, at a press conference after the company's shareholders meeting in Tokyo on June 25, 2015.
AFP/Getty Images

Japanese car giants Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi have expanded a recall of cars to replace airbags made by Takata, reports the BBC.

The recalls had initially been issued in North America, but have now been extended to the rest of the world.

The carmakers said they were calling back a total of 3.2 million cars globally, affecting nearly 30 models.

Last week, Toyota recalled 1.37 million vehicles in the US after Takata agreed to an order by U.S. regulators to declare more defective airbags.

The airbags have been linked to eight deaths, all in Honda vehicles. The carmaker has been the hardest hit by the recalls, calling back more than 19 million cars around the world.

The defect in the airbags, believed to be linked to a chemical propellant that helps inflate it, can cause it to deploy with explosive force and send metal shrapnel flying.

At a news conference on Thursday, following Takata's annual general meeting, the firm's chief executive, Shigehisa Takada, apologised to shareholders for the first time since the airbag issues started.

"We are a company that should be providing safety. Our product quality should be assured," he said. "There are many things needing improvement. We must reconsider how to do that and also how to better manage our supply chain."