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Japanese automakers, Toyota Motor Corp. (TM - Analyst Report), Honda Motor Co. (HMC - Analyst Report), Nissan Motor Co. (NSANY) and Mazda Motor Corp. have decided to recall 3.4 million vehicles globally for an identical problem. All these automakers plan to recall vehicles for fixing defective airbag system in their vehicles, supplied by Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corp.

Toyota revealed that the airbags at the front seat in the vehicles may not inflate when required while some other automaker has noticed that the airbag inflator may burst. However, the automakers have not yet received any reports of injuries or deaths due to the problem.

Toyota will recall 1.73 million vehicles globally. Among them, 580,000 vehicles will be recalled in North America, 490,000 vehicles in Europe and 320,000 vehicles in Japan. The automaker will replace the faulty airbags with the new ones and the fixing will take about one to two and half hours for most of the models.

Honda will recall 1.14 million vehicles worldwide while Nissan will recall about 480,000 vehicles and Mazda about 45,500 vehicles globally.

Automotive safety recalls were brought into focus by media after Toyota’s announcement of the largest-ever global recall of 3.8 million vehicles in September 2009, triggered by a high-speed crash that killed 4 members of a family. Later on, a string of recalls has led Toyota to face numerous personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in federal courts.

A few months ago, the Transportation Department of U.S. slapped a fine of $17.35 million on Toyota due to a late response regarding a defect in its vehicles to safety regulators as well as late recall of those vehicles. According to the department, it was the maximum allowable fine under the law for not initiating a recall in a timely manner. The latest fine adds to $48.4 million imposed by the U.S. government on the company in 2010 due to late recall of millions of defective vehicles.

Recently, General Motors Company (GM - Analyst Report) also recalled 144 units of its newly launched 2013 Buick Encores in order to fix their steering wheel fastener that may not have been properly installed. The Detroit-based automaker has informed that the steering wheel in the vehicles could come loose or separate from the steering column. The new compact crossover Encore is built by GM Korea between Dec 9 and Dec 28. The same model is sold in Europe as Opel Mokka.

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