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Takata Air Bag Recall is Largest in Auto History, Doubling to 34 Million

May 21, 2015

Takata Corp. is doubling its air bag recall to include 33.8 million units, Newsday reports. The company's move is prompted by pressure from safety regulators. The air bags are being recalled due to faulty inflaters. The bags can explode when there is too much force, sending shrapnel into the passenger compartment. The defective air bags are implemented in at least six deaths and over 100 injuries worldwide. The recall is the largest in auto history, according to Newsday.

Over the past year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been disputing with Takata over the source of the recall and its size. The agency announced that the recall would expand to include some 34 million air bags.

The recalled air bags affects 11 automakers, including Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. The faulty product has resulted in the recall of 17 million vehicles in the United States and 36 million worldwide.

The auto industry had another highly publicized recall last year, when 2.6 million General Motors vehicles were recalled due to defective ignition switches that could cause cars to slip from the "on" to the "accessory" position. General Motors was criticized due to reports that some engineers know about the problem over 10 years prior, but failed to correct it. At least 104 deaths have been blamed on the switches; General Motors Ignition Compensation Fund has approved settlement offers for these families.

The metal inflaters in the Takata air bags are the components that explode. The exact cause for why this happens in unknown, said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. Nevertheless, the agency believes swift action is necessary. "We know that owners are worried about their safety and the safety of their families," he said, according to Newsday. "This is probably the most complex consumer safety recall in U.S. history."

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