The recall affects about 1.16 million vehicles sold in Oceania, the Middle East and smaller markets, while about 750,000 vehicles are being recalled in Japan.
Fuji Heavy Industries, the company that manufactures Subaru cars, Mitsubishi Motors and Hino Motors also recalled a total of about 240,000 vehicles in the U.S. that were equipped with Takata airbag inflators which have been reported to explode after prolonged exposure to hot conditions.
At least 16 deaths have been linked to exploding Takata inflators, mostly in the U.S., prompting “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). To date, at least 19 different automakers have issued recalls to replace airbags on the driver’s or passenger’s side.
NHTSA has determined the cause of the problem to be airbags that use ammonium nitrate-based propellent without a chemical drying agent. Factors such as environmental moisture, high temperatures, and age can improperly inflate the airbags and even send shrapnel exploding into occupants.
Takata is currently seeking a financial sponsor to help cover expenses associated with the recalls. The company pleaded guilty last month to a felony charge as part of a $1 billion settlement over its defective airbag inflators.