It's rare that a vehicle recall makes headline national news, but with Japanese carmakers recalling over three million of their older models worldwide for an airbag fault, it's big news.
The issue lies in a manufacturing error for the "Supplementary Restraint System" in certain vehicles. A technical slip-up in the construction process by the Takata Corporation means that, in the event of a collision, the passenger side airbag may fail to deploy properly. Though only six such incidents have been recorded worldwide - none in the UK - the airbag is a safety critical component and warrants an immediate response of this kind.
Though Takata supply airbag and seatbelt components to many manufacturers, the UK recall only affects cars made from 2000-2004 by the biggest four Japanese manufacturers - Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mazda.
Models affected: Avensis, Avensis Verso, Camry, Corolla, Picnic, Yaris
Toyota's recall affects 76,000 vehicles in the UK, registered between November 2000 (on an X registration) and March 2004 (54). Toyota have published a VIN checker on their website, but customers may also call their helpline on 0800 1388744.
Models affected: Almera, Almera Tino, Navara/Pick Up, Pathfinder, Patrol, Terrano II, X-Trail
Nissan have issued a recall for 59,058 vehicles in the UK, bought between 2000 (V) and 2004 (54). They have also published a helpline number for concerned customers at 01923 899334.
Models affected: CR-V, Jazz, Stream
Honda are mainly concerned about CR-Vs built between 2002 (51) and 2003 (53), but some Stream and Jazz models built between 2001 (X) and 2002 (52) are also affected. In total, 15,475 vehicles will be recalled in the UK and Honda UK advise concerned owners to contact local dealerships directly.
Models affected: Mazda6
For Mazda, the recall affects only first generation Mazda6 models, accounting for 1,913 vehicles in the UK. These cars will have been bought between 2002 (51 registration) and 2003 (53 registration) and Mazda have published their customer services number - 0845 7484848 - for owners who think their car may be affected.
Due to the age of the cars, all of the manufacturers are working with dealers and the DVLA to determine who owns the potentially affected cars at present in order to contact owners - but if you believe your vehicle may be involved in the recall you are encouraged to contact the manufacturers with the information above or your local dealer directly. Replacement will be carried out free of charge and should require around 90 minutes depending on the model.