Toyota and Nissan expand airbag recall by 6.6 million cars

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HONG KONG — Toyota and Nissan have recalled an additional 6.56 million cars equipped with possibly faulty airbags manufactured by Japan-based Takata.

Toyota’s recall covers 5 million vehicles globally, including an estimated 637,000 in the United States. The recalled cars rolled off assembly lines between March 2003 and November 2007, and 35 separate models are involved.

Tens of millions of cars equipped with Takata airbags have been recalled by automakers recently over fears the airbags may explode and send shrapnel flying at drivers and passengers.

Engineers at Takata, one of the world’s largest airbag makers, first noticed problems with the chemical mix used in its airbags more than a decade ago. At least five deaths have since been linked to the company’s malfunctioning airbags.

Toyota said the decision to expand its recall was made after investigators uncovered moisture problems that could make airbags “susceptible to abnormal deployment in a crash.”

“Among the parts collected from the Japanese market, certain types of airbag inflators were found to have a potential for moisture intrusion over time,” the company said in a statement.

The smaller Nissan recall covers 1.56 million vehicles that were manufactured between 2004 and 2007.

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