This is the same problem that caused seven automakers in the US to recall an estimated 2.1 million vehicles in late June. The airbag inflators can potentially explode instead of deploying the airbag, which hampers the bag's inflation. In some cases occupants are also hit by the metal shrapnel, which can cause further injuries. In the US, Mazda is repairing the 2003-2007 Mazda6 (pictured above), 2006-2007 Mazdaspeed6, 2004 MPV and 2004-2008 RX-8 originally sold in or currently registered in Florida, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii.
This is hardly the first instance of this issue. Since 2001, there have been 20 recalls tied to the exploding airbags supplied by Takata. The problem is possibly linked to the propellant in the inflators, but there's no conclusive evidence of that yet. Most of the automakers in the US limited the most recent recalls only to a few humid states because moisture potentially exacerbated the problem.
Autoblog has reached out to Mazda for more information about its global recall. We'll update this story, if we hear back.