Tokyo-- Japanese carmakers on Thursday recalled more than 3 million vehicles worldwide due to problems with air bags on the cars' passenger side.
The air bags are made by Japanese manufacturer Takata Corp. for Toyota, Honda and Nissan.
Toyota is recalling 1.7 million vehicles with some 580,000 in North America, 490,000 in Europe and 320,000 in Japan.
Affected models include Corolla, Tundra, Lexus SC, produced between November 2000, and March 2004.
Honda is recalling 1.1 million vehicles. About 680,000 are in North America, 270,000 in Japan and 64,000 in Europe. In the USA, the recall affects 2001-2003 Civics; 2002-2003 CR-Vs; 2002 Odyssey.
Nissan Motor recalled 480,000 vehicles globally, some 137,000 of them in Japan, for the air bag problem. Models affected include the 2000-2004 Maxima, Infiniti FX, Infiniti QX4, Nissan Pathfinder and Nissan Sentra.
Mazda is also reportedly recalling vehicles, as many as 45,000.
Bloomberg reported, citing a Toyota spokesman, that "a malfunctioning inflator could inadvertently deploy the front- seat air bags or activate the automatic seat belt restraints."
Toyota in particular has been plagued by recalls in recent years. It has recalled millions of vehicles globally to fix sticky gas pedals and floor mats.
The problem crept in because of two human errors during production. A worker forgot to turn on the switch for a system weeding out defective products and parts were improperly stored, which exposed them to humidity, according to Honda spokeswoman Akemi Ando.