Honda is recalling 1.1 million vehicles, including more than 107,000 in Canada, and Toyota is recalling 1.7 million vehicles, including some 580,000 in North America.
A spokesman for the airbag manufacturer, Takata Corp. of Japan, says the recall affects other automakers, including Nissan and non-Japanese manufacturers, but declined to give further details.
Honda Canada says airbag inflators in affected vehicles may deploy with too much pressure, which may cause the inflator to rupture and cause possible injuries.
Toyota said it had received five reports of airbag problems, three in the U.S. and two in Japan, but there have been no injuries.
Honda says it knows of one crash attributed to the problem, but it is not aware of any injuries or deaths related to this issue.
In Canada, the recall covers almost 81,000 Honda Civics and about 11,000 Acura 1.7 EL vehicles from the 2001-2003 model years, 6,140 CR-V vehicles from 2002-2003 and almost 10,000 Odysseys from the 2002 model year.
About 270,000 Honda vehicles in Japan and 64,000 in Europe are also included in the recall.
The Toyota recall also includes 490,000 vehicles in Europe and 320,000 in Japan. Affected models include the Corolla, Tundra, Lexus SC, produced between November 2000, and March 2004.
Nissan recalled 480,000 vehicles globally, some 137,000 of them in Japan.
The automaker said vehicles in North America and Europe are affected, but did not immediately have other details on its overseas recalls.
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.
Honda Canada says owners of all affected vehicles are encouraged to take their vehicles to an authorized dealer as soon as they receive a recall notification, which will be mailed out starting late May.
Depending on their model, owners can also determine if their vehicles need repair by calling 888-9HONDA9 or 888-9ACURA9, or starting Friday, by going on-line to www.honda.ca/recalls and www.acura.ca/recalls.
— With files from The Associated Press.