(USA Today) -- Three big Japanese car makers on Thursday recalled more than 3 million vehicles worldwide due to defects with air bags on the passenger side of cars.
The air bags are made by Japanese manufacturer Takata Corp. for Toyota Motor, Honda Motor and Nissan Motor.
Toyota Motor 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 the Corolla, Tundra, Lexus SC, produced between November 2000, and March 2004.
Honda Motor is recalling 1.1 million vehicles. About 680,000 are in North America, 270,000 in Japan and 64,000 in Europe. The models include Civic and Odyssey.
Nissan Motor recalled 480,000 vehicles globally, some 137,000 of them in Japan, for the air bag problem.
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 airbags 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.