June 12, 2014 / 5:25 PM / in 4 years

Japan regulator orders Honda, others to decide soon on air bag recalls

TOKYO, June 12 (Reuters) - Japan’s transport ministry has ordered carmakers including Honda Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co to decide as soon as possible whether they need to recall more vehicles over potentially faulty air bags made by Takata Corp.

The instruction to Honda, Nissan, Mazda Motor Corp and the Japanese arm of BMW came after Toyota on Wednesday expanded last year’s recall saying Takata had not fully provided serial numbers of potentially flawed air bag inflators.

Takata has said it supports Toyota’s decision to expand the recall and that it will provide the replacement inflators.

Some of those car makers could decide by the end of this month whether to recall more vehicles, two individuals knowledgeable about the matter said.

The transport ministry also asked Japan’s auto lobby to tell car makers to pay close attention to the information Toyota released in pulling back 2.3 million vehicles globally, many for the second time.

Last year, automakers including Toyota, Honda and Nissan recalled a total of 3.6 million vehicles globally over Takata air bags.

On Wednesday, Toyota recalled 650,000 more vehicles in Japan that had not been included in last year’s recall. As a result, the total number of Toyota vehicles recalled in Japan over this issue has more than tripled to around 960,000 vehicles from the 310,000 vehicles it had recalled in 2013.

Overseas, Toyota recalled 1.62 million vehicles for the second time, many in the United States.

Since late 2008, automakers have called back more than 7 million vehicles with Takata air bags globally, many of that recalled by Honda. (Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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