December 4, 2014 / 9:44 PM / 5 years ago

Mazda expands recall for U.S. cars with Takata passenger air bags

DETROIT (Reuters) - Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T) said on Thursday it will expand to additional states its recall of vehicles with Takata Corp 7312.T passenger-side air bags after U.S. regulators requested it.

A Mazda logo is pictured at the Jacob Javits Convention Center during the New York International Auto Show in New York April 16, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Mazda was among 10 automakers that began in June to conduct regional recalls of vehicles with passenger-side front-seat air bags supplied by Takata, at the request of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

NHTSA previously requested and Mazda recalled vehicles in a limited area covering Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Mazda’s recall area now includes Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia as well as Guam, Saipan, and American Samoa.

Including models recalled earlier, Mazda will tell owners of about 87,000 vehicles with Takata passenger-side air bags to bring them to dealerships for replacement parts.

Defective Takata air bag inflators, which can explode and shoot shrapnel into the car, have been linked to five deaths. More than 16 million cars have been recalled globally since 2008.

Last month, Takata declared that the passenger-side air bags may be defective in the wider area.

The Japan-based supplier says that manufacturing problems could lead to defects if the inflators are in high-humidity areas for extended periods.

This action is separate from a NHTSA demand for five automakers including Mazda to recall nationwide certain older-model vehicles with Takata-made driver-side air bags. Mazda has yet to say whether it will comply with the request. Germany’s BMW has also not responded to NHTSA’s request.

Other carmakers including Honda Motor Co and Toyota Motor Corp have already agreed to go nationwide with the driver-side air bag recall, while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV has so far refused.

Mazda said in a press statement issued Thursday that it has agreed to join an initiative proposed by Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) for independent, industrywide joint tests of Takata air bag inflators.

(This story fixes verb tense in second paragraph)

Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Christian Plumb

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