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Toyota, Honda Recall Millions of Car Airbags

Japanese automakers say passenger airbag casings could explode.

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Customers seeking information about whether or not their Toyota vehicle is affected can enter their car's vehicle identification numbers at a dedicated Web page on the company's website.

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Four major Japanese auto companies announced Thursday they are recalling a combined 3.4 million cars because of faulty passenger airbags produced by Takata Corp.

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Toyota is recalling 1.73 million cars – 510,000 in the United States – including Corolla, Sequoia, Tundra and Lexus SC 430 models made between 2001 and 2003.

Honda is recalling 1.1 million cars – 680,000 in North America – The Associated Press reports. The company's U.S. division said in a news release that 426,000 Honda Civics and 43,000 Honda CR-V cars made between 2002 and 2003 are affected, as well as 92,000 Odysseys made in 2002.

Nissan's recall – affecting Cube, Maxima and other models – includes 480,000 cars, 343,000 outside of Japan, the AP reports, and Mazda's recall of 45,000 cars worldwide is for Mazda 6 and RX-8 models.

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In a news release, Toyota's U.S. division said: "The involved vehicles are equipped with front passenger airbag inflators which could have been assembled with improperly manufactured propellant wafers. Improperly manufactured propellant wafers could cause the inflator to rupture and the front passenger airbag to deploy abnormally in the event of a crash."

Toyota and Honda said they will notify car owners by mail and offer an inspection for affected models.

"[I]f it is equipped with an affected inflator, the inflator will be replaced with a newly manufactured one at no charge to the owner," Toyota said. Honda's release did not explicitly say repairs would be free.

Customers seeking information about whether or not their Toyota vehicle is affected can enter their car's vehicle identification numbers at a dedicated Web page on the company's website. Honda offers an identical service.

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The recall is being characterized as voluntary. Honda revealed one incident "in which a passenger front airbag deployed with too much pressure, causing the casing to rupture," but said that there were no reports of injuries or deaths. Toyota disclosed five similar incidents.

In 2009 and 2010 Toyota recalled 9.9 million cars, 8 million in the U.S., because of design flaws that led to unintended acceleration. The terrifying issue reportedly caused dozens of deaths.

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In 2012 Toyota was the world's largest car manufacturer in terms of sales, the Wall Street Journal reported in January.

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