Volkswagen AG (VLKAY) and its Chinese joint ventures FAW-Volkswagen and SAIC Volkswagen have been asked by a major Chinese watchdog to recall 4.86 million vehicles in the country that could have potentially faulty Takata Corp. airbags, Reuters reported.

This is the latest in an ongoing saga revolving around Takata airbags, which have the potential to spray shrapnel in strong explosions and have been linked to at least 16 deaths and 180 injuries across the world. The Japanese airbag manufacturer went bankrupt earlier this summer. The recalls are the largest in automotive history.

Chinese regulators asked General Motors Co. (GM - Get Report) and Daimler AG's (DDAIY) Mercedes-Benz to recall models with Takata airbags earlier this year. Chinese government estimates report over 20 million cars in China have Takata airbags.

Volkswagen Group China told Reuters it had not received any reports of issues in its models related to the defected airbags. It was acting under the advisement of China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

The VW recall will run from March of next year into 2019, the regulators said. Volkswagen and its Chinese partners will offer free airbag replacement in the recalled vehicles.

More of What's Trending on TheStreet: