Honda, Toyota and Nissan are recalling more than three million vehicles globally, including some 200,000 in Canada, for an identical problem with airbags on the passenger side whose inflator may burst, sending plastic pieces flying.
Among the 1.1 million vehicles being recalled by Honda, about 107,000 are in Canada, while the 1.7 million vehicles being recalled by Toyota include 580,000 across North America, some 75,000 in Canada.
Nissan Canada estimates about 20,000 of its vehicles will be subject to the recall in this country, while Mazda Canada is recalling a relative handful of just over two dozen vehicles.
Honda Canada says airbag inflators in affected vehicles may deploy with too much pressure, which may cause the inflator to rupture and cause possible injuries.
The problem crept in because of two human errors during production. A worker forgot to turn on the switch for a system weeding out defective products and parts were improperly stored, which exposed them to humidity, according to Honda spokeswoman Akemi Ando.
The airbag manufacturer, Takata Corp. of Japan, says the recall affects other auto makers as well, including non-Japanese manufacturers. However, Takata spokeswoman Akiko Watanabe declined to give details.
Toyota said it had received five reports of airbag problems, three in the U.S. and two in Japan, but there have been no injuries.
Honda says it knows of one crash related to the problem, but it is not aware of any injuries or deaths related to this issue.
In Canada, the recall covers almost 81,000 Honda Civics and about 11,000 Acura 1.7 EL vehicles from the 2001-2003 model years; 6,140 CR-V vehicles from 2002-2003 and almost 10,000 Odysseys from the 2002 model year.
Toyota Canada said vehicles being recalled for inspection in Canada include certain model year 2003 Toyota Corolla, Matrix, Sequoia and Tundra vehicles, and model year 2002 and 2003 Lexus SC 430 vehicles.
Nissan has recalled 480,000 vehicles globally, about 20,000 in Canada among the 290,000 being recalled in North America.
Nissan Canada said models expected to be impacted include the Nissan Maxima, Pathfinder and Sentra, and the Infiniti I35, QX4 and FX models.
Recalled models in Japan include the Cube, X-Trail, Maxima and Teana, made from August, 2000, to January, 2004, spokesman Chris Keeffe said.
Also affected under the same recall are 45,000 RX-8 and Mazda 6 at Mazda Motor Corp. However, the recall in Canada involves just 26 of those vehicles, all from the 2004 model year.
Elsewhere, about 270,000 Honda vehicles in Japan and 64,000 in Europe are also included in the recall, while the Toyota recall also includes 490,000 vehicles in Europe and 320,000 in Japan.
The recall also extends to Latin America, China and other Asian countries as well as the Middle East and Africa.
With files from The Associated Press.