UPDATE 6-Japan carmakers recall 3.4 mln vehicles for Takata airbag flaw

Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:13pm EDT
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* Recall affects vehicles in N. America, Japan, Europe

* Supplier learned of issue in October 2011

* Biggest-ever recall for world No. 2 airbag, seatbelt maker

* Carmakers increasingly using common or similar parts to cut costs

* Takata shares fall nearly 10 pct

By Yoko Kubota and Ben Klayman

TOKYO/DETROIT, April 11 (Reuters) - Four Japanese automakers, including Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co, are recalling 3.4 million vehicles sold around the world because airbags supplied by Takata Corp are at risk of catching fire or injuring passengers.

The move announced on Thursday is the largest recall ever for airbags made by Takata, the world's second-largest supplier of airbags and seatbelts. Shares of Takata, which first learned of the issue in October 2011, tumbled almost 10 percent in Tokyo trading.

The recall, also including vehicles from Honda Motor Co Ltd and Mazda Motor Corp, is the largest since Toyota pulled back more than 7 million vehicles in October to repair faulty power window switches. The scale of the recent safety actions underscores the risk of huge global supply chain problems as automakers increasingly rely on a handful of suppliers for common or similar parts to cut costs, analysts have said.   Continued...