BEIJING (Reuters) - Mercedes-Benz, the luxury brand of German carmaker Daimler AG, and its Chinese joint ventures will recall 351,218 vehicles due to potential issues with air bags made by Japan's Takata Corp, China's quality watchdog said on Friday.
The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said on its website that it was concerned about risks arising from possible defects in the cars' air bag inflators.
Official Chinese estimates showed over 20 million cars in China had air bags made by Takata, which have been linked to at least 16 deaths and 180 injuries globally. The air bags have the potential to deploy with too much force and spray shrapnel.
The defect led to the biggest recall in automotive history and eventual bankruptcy of the Japanese maker which had become burdened with tens of billions of dollars worth of liabilities.
The recall by Mercedes-Benz and its Chinese joint ventures will begin from Oct. 15 and will include domestically built and imported cars produced from 2006 through 2012, with models including the SLK-Class and A-Class, the AQSIQ said.
It follows similar recalls by General Motors Co and Volkswagen AG last month.
The Chinese watchdog asked the three automakers in July to recall vehicles in China affected by potentially faulty Takata air bags. Up to that time, the automakers had proposed recalling a small number of vehicles for testing and analysis.
(Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk and Brenda Goh in SHANGHAI; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Christopher Cushing)