Three Japanese carmakers said Friday that they would recall more than 700,000 vehicles equipped with air bags made by the supplier Takata, citing the company’s admission this week that its air bags contained potentially dangerous faults.
The recalls by Mazda, Mitsubishi and Subaru added 715,000 cars and trucks to what is already the largest auto safety recall in history.
That number could continue to grow, as the recall notices by Mazda and Subaru covered only models sold in Japan. The two companies said they were consulting safety regulators in other countries to determine whether additional recalls were needed. Mitsubishi said it would recall vehicles abroad.
Kenichi Yano, a spokesman for Subaru, said, “I can’t deny that we may have to take action overseas as well, but at this point nothing is decided.”
Mitsubishi said it would replace air bags in 100,165 vehicles in Japan and was preparing to recall about 412,000 abroad. It declined to elaborate on the countries and models affected by the non-Japanese recalls, saying formal notices with regulators had not yet been filed.
Mazda recalled 111,536 vehicles in Japan, and Subaru, which is owned by Fuji Heavy Industries, recalled 91,151.
On Tuesday, in the face of mounting pressure from regulators, Takata acknowledged defects that can cause its air bags to rupture violently when they deploy, shooting fragments into the passenger cabin. Six deaths and more than 100 injuries have been linked to the problem.
In Toyota’s case, the recall was based in part on the results of tests it conducted independently of Takata. Carmakers were said to be growing impatient with Takata’s response to the crisis.
Takata said Tuesday that propellant — the explosive material that generates the gases to inflate the air bag — in the inflators could degrade over time if exposed to high humidity and changes in temperature, making it prone to “overaggressive combustion.”
It also acknowledged that its testing had uncovered leaks in some of its inflators that could allow moisture to seep into them, further destabilizing the propellant.