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Takata Adds 3.3 Million Air Bag Inflators to Already Massive Recall

Takata, a Japanese air bag manufacturer, is recalling an additional 3.3 million defective air bag inflators as it continues to add to the largest automotive recall in U.S. history.  Through the series of recalls, 19 automakers have had to recall up to 69 million inflators in 42 million vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration posted the notice of the expanded recall on the agency’s website over the weekend.

The latest recalls are for frontal air bags in certain 2009, 2010 and 2013 vehicles made by Honda, Toyota, Audi, BMW, Daimler Vans, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Tesla.

The chemical used to inflate the Takata air bags can deteriorate and burn too fast.  This can cause them to explode in a crash and shower the driver and passengers with hot shrapnel. Because the deterioration is mostly caused when exposed to high humidity and temperatures, older models and those in humid and warm weather states are getting priority.

At least 20 people have been killed worldwide, and more than 180 injured from the defective air bags. All of these issues have led Takata to file for bankruptcy in June.

The majority of automakers have been slow to replace the defective and possibly deadly inflators. A report by an independent source said that as of Sept. 15, 2017, automakers have recalled 43.1 million inflators. However, only 18.5 million (43%) have been replaced.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said it is monitoring the progress of the recalls and is working on the most effective ways to improve completion rates. The agency has the power to fine automakers that fail to make recall repairs in a timely manner.

The NHTSA has a list of affected vehicles and information on the recall on its website.