2.5 million vehicles in the US are set to be recalled by 3 of Germany’s biggest automobile manufacturers – BMW, Volkswagen (VW), and Daimler (which owns Mercedes-Benz) – for being equipped with defective airbags. The vehicles which will be recalled are equipped with Takata airbags and this move is the latest in a long-running safety crisis involving the Japanese automotive components supplier.
Takata had announced last month that their airbag inflators were defective, which would affect a total of 5.1 million vehicles in the US.
On Wednesday, Volkswagen said it would recall 850,000 vehicles and BMW said it would recall 840,000 vehicles. That followed Tuesday’s announcement by Daimler that it was recalling 840,000 vehicles. These recalls involve newer model-year vehicles than previous ones involving Takata, although one 2015 BMW model is also on the latest list.
The recalls mark the latest expansion of a safety crisis over defective Takata airbags that began in 2009. Some 24 million US vehicles involving about 28 million Takata airbag inflators have been recalled.
Earlier, Honda recalled 2.23 million US vehicles, while Ford has recalled 361,000 Ranger pick-up trucks and Mazda nearly 20,000 B-Series trucks.
The recalls by the German companies were limited to the US market. Daimler, VW, and BMW each said they are not aware of any airbag failures in their vehicles so far.
The most recent recalls were prompted in part by the December death of the driver of a Ford Ranger pick-up, as well as new tests conducted on suspected faulty airbags. 10 deaths worldwide and 9 in the US have been linked to Takata’s airbag inflators, all but one involving a Honda model.
Most of Daimler’s vehicles involved are from its Mercedes-Benz brand. Daimler said it would take a charge of 340 million euros ($383 million) to cover the cost of the recall. It will account for this by revising its 2015 financial results published last week, lowering net profit to 8.7 billion euros and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to 13.2 billion euros, from 8.9 billion and 13.5 billion euros respectively.
VW’s recalls include its main Volkswagen brand with 680,000 recalled vehicles and its luxury Audi brand with 170,000 vehicles recalled.
VW said its US recalls include 2006 to 2010 model year Passat sedans and wagons made in Germany, 2012-2014 Eos as well as Passats made in the US, 2010-2014 Golf and Jetta SportWagen, and 2009-2014 Volkswagen CC.