TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. said today it was recalling about 5.8 million cars over potentially faulty airbag inflators made by Takata Corp. The recall affects about 1.47 million vehicles sold in Europe, about 820,000 cars sold in China and 1.16 million cars in the Japanese market.
The action also extends to Central and South America, Africa, the Near and Middle East and Singapore.
Affected models include the Corolla compact car, one of the world's best-selling models, the Yaris/Vitz subcompact, the Hilux pickup and the Etios line of sedans and hatchbacks.
The recall covers driver-side and passenger-side airbags installed in cars produced between May 2000 and November 2001, and April 2006 and December 2014, the company said in an email.
Automakers worldwide are ramping up the industry's biggest-ever recall after parts supplier Takata, under pressure from U.S. authorities, agreed earlier this year to declare more of its airbags as defective in the U.S. and other countries.
The airbag inflators in question use a chemical compound which can explode with excessive force after prolonged exposure to hot conditions, and have been linked to at least 16 deaths globally, mainly in the U.S.
The latest move shows the complicated nature of the inflator recall, which began around 2008 and continues to expand.
The latest recall includes about 20,000 cars that were fitted with replacement Takata inflators following an initial 2010 recall, as the replacement parts are also seen to be at risk of exploding as they do not contain a drying agent.
Transport authorities around the world now consider inflators without a drying agent to be unsafe, and have ordered all of them to be withdrawn.
Since global transportation authorities expanded their recall from May, about 100 million Takata airbag inflators have been classified as defective worldwide.
Takata is seeking a financial investor to help pay for huge liabilities from the recall, and has been meeting with potential sponsors and automaker clients to discuss its survival options.