BERLIN -- German luxury carmaker BMW (IW 1000/36) has issued a recall of 220,000 vehicles because of a defect in Japanese-made airbags installed over a decade ago, a spokesman said Tuesday.

The flawed airbags made by Takata Corp. had several weeks ago sparked the recall of more than 3 million cars made by Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda.

BMW's affected cars were 3-Series models, including sedans, coupes and other types, produced between December 2001 and March 2003.

"We have been informed by the supplier that there could be a problem with this airbag," spokesman Bernhard Santer said. "We have never had a problem. It is a precaution to ensure the safety of our clients."

The spokesman said fixing the problem would take about one hour in a workshop and would be free of charge.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013