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3 carmakers recalling 6.3 million vehicles

Craig Trudell
Bloomberg News

It was a busy day for automotive recalls, Tuesday, with three manufacturers issuing notices that more than 6.3 million vehicles need repairs to defects that could cause deaths — and already have in one case.

Toyota Motor Corp. recalled about 5.8 million vehicles worldwide to replace Takata Corp. air bags, the latest in a series of repairs phased over the coming years linked to safety devices behind 17 deaths.

The recalls include about 1.47 million vehicles in Europe and 1.16 million in Japan, a Toyota representative said in an email. Regulators in the U.S. and Japan earlier this year ordered recalls of all Takata air bags lacking a drying agent meant to keep the propellant in its inflators from misfiring and causing ruptures that spray bits of metal into the passenger compartment.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in May more than doubled what was already the biggest auto recall in U.S. history, ordering the replacement of as many as 40 million additional air bags in phases scheduled through 2019. Japan’s transport ministry followed suit, with recalls in Tokyo-based Takata’s domestic market eventually reaching about 19.6 million.

■Locally, Ford Motor Co. is recalling nearly 412,000 older SUVs worldwide to fix fuel leaks that could cause fires.

The recall covers certain 2010 to 2012 Ford Escapes and 2010 to 2011 Mercury Mariners with 3-liter flex-fuel V6 engines.

Ford says a fuel supply part can develop a crack and leak gasoline that could catch fire. A company statement says it’s not aware of any accidents, fires or injuries caused by the problem. Most of the recalled SUVs are in North America.

Dealers will replace the fuel delivery module flange assembly at no cost to owners. Ford says customers will be notified by the week of Dec. 12.

Ford says owners who smell gasoline or suspect problems should contact their dealer.

■In addition, Subaru is recalling more than 100,000 of its top-selling models in the U.S. because a turbocharger air pump can run continuously, overheat and could cause fires.

The recall covers certain 2007 to 2009 Legacy and Outback vehicles, some 2008 to 2014 Imprezas and certain 2009 to 2013 Foresters. All the cars and SUVs have turbocharged engines. Subaru says in government documents that a relay controlling a secondary air injection pump can fail, causing the pump to run continuously. If it overheats, it can melt and catch fire.

The company reported two fires in government documents but says it has no reports of any injuries.

Dealers will replace the relay at no cost to owners. Subaru doesn’t have a schedule yet for the recall to begin. The company says owners who have concerns about the problem should contact their dealer.