UPDATE 1-Fuji Heavy recalls 539 Subaru vehicles in Japan over air bag flaw

Thu Jul 3, 2014 2:00am EDT

(Adds production period, background on past recalls)

TOKYO, July 3 (Reuters) - Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd , the maker of Subaru vehicles, said it is recalling 539 vehicles in Japan over potentially explosive passenger seat air bags supplied by Takata Corp.

Fuji Heavy is recalling the Legacy made from April 2003 to February 2004. It will replace the air bag inflator with a new one, company spokesman Fusao Watanabe said.

Watanabe said he could not say how many vehicles would be recalled in the United States or globally for the same issue. The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Fuji Heavy will recall about 8,500 Legacy, Outback and Baja vehicles over defective Takata air bags.

Five other automakers, including Honda Motor Co and Toyota Motor Corp, have recalled some 10.5 million vehicles over the past five years in a series of recalls involving both passenger-side and driver-side air bags made by Takata.

Last month, Honda, Toyota, Nissan Motor Co Ltd and Mazda Motor Corp recalled a total of 5.2 million vehicles over potentially flawed Takata air bag inflators made between 2000 and 2002 that are at risk of exploding and shooting shrapnel at drivers and passengers.

Separately, seven automakers said they were recalling vehicles in high-humidity regions of the United States at the request of U.S. safety regulators to see if faulty air bag inflators had been installed in their vehicles. (Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Chris Gallagher and Edwina Gibbs)

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