GM, China JV to recall over 2.5 million vehicles over airbags: watchdog

FILE PHOTO: The GM logo is seen at the General Motors Assembly Plant in Valencia, Venezuela April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Marco Bello/File Photo

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - General Motors GM.N and its joint venture in China, Shanghai GM, will recall more than 2.5 million vehicles due to faulty airbag inflators, China's top quality watchdog as said.

The vehicles are equipped with airbag inflators produced by troubled Japanese manufacturer Takata Corp 7312.T, according to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (GAQSIQ).

From Oct. 29, the companies will recall 13,492 imported Saab and Opel vehicles, and from Dec. 29 another recall will start that involves more than 2.51 million Chevrolet and Buick cars.

The recall, announced by the administration on Friday, followed a similar recall last week by Volkswagen AG VOWG_p.DE and its Chinese joint ventures involving 4.86 million vehicles in China due to potential issues with Takata air bags.

State news agency Xinhua quoted the quality watchdog as saying the faulty airbag inflator involved 37 car manufacturers and more than 20 million vehicles, of which 24 carmakers had recalled 10.59 million vehicles by the end of June.

Takata air bags have been linked to at least 16 deaths and 180 injuries globally. The air bags have the potential to explode with too much force and spray shrapnel. The defect led to the biggest recall in automotive history and the eventual bankruptcy of the Japanese maker.

Reporting by John Ruwitch; Editing by Richard Pullin