Toyota will recall 1.73m cars worldwide, Honda will recall 1.14m, Nissan 480,000 and Mazda 45,463, the firms announced yesterday.
Shares in Tokyo-based car parts maker, Takata, which supplied the faulty airbags, yesterday dropped by nine per cent.
The recall followed five incidents where passenger side airbags had failed to inflate correctly.
No one was hurt, but Honda warned that defective airbags could over-inflate and burst, spraying dangerous metal shards.
Cars to be recalled in the UK include;15,475 Toyota vehicles, including the Corolla, Picnic and Camry models, 15,475 Honda vehicles including its CR-V and Stream models, 59,058 Nissan vehicles including its X-Trail, Patrol, Almera, Almera Tino, Terrano II and Navara models, and 1,913 Mazda 6 models.
Customers will be contacted in the coming weeks, and, if necessary, will receive repairs free of charge.