"This potential defect is possibly due to the airbag inflator being subjected to constant changing of temperatures and high humidity conditions for lengthy periods. MMSA has started contacting owners of affected vehicles to schedule and arrange the free-of-charge passenger airbag inflator replacement of their Pajeros. The replacement procedure will take approximately two hours," the automaker said in a statement.
The expanded recall comes five months after the beleaguered components manufacturer filed for bankruptcy protection in both its home market and the United States, amidst the call-back of some 42 million vehicles worldwide involving models from Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Subaru, Fiat-Chrysler, Mitsubishi, BMW and Ford.
A total of 18 death have so far been attributed to the malfunction airbags with the latest coming on July 13rd, when a 58-year old Australian man suffered fatal injuries after is Honda CR-V collided with a Toyota Celica at a intersection in the New South Wales suburb of Cabramatta, resulting in metal fragments striking his throat.
"Further investigations revealed the vehicle in the incident was subject of a worldwide recall for a faulty airbag. Three others involved in the incident were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries," New South Wales police said in a statement at a the time.
Aside from Mitsubishi, only Subaru has announced airbag recalls in South Africa so far.