The Japanese air bag supplier Takata has said that almost 34 million vehicles were equipped with dangerously defective air bag mechanisms, prompting what is believed to be the most extensive automotive recall in US history.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Takata have reached an agreement that requires the air bag company to fully cooperate with investigators, according to NPR.
“Today is a major step forward for public safety,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. “The Department of Transportation is taking the proactive steps necessary to ensure that defective inflators are replaced with safe ones as quickly as possible, and that the highest risks are addressed first. We will not stop our work until every air bag is replaced.”
The recall affects 10 car makers, thought the NHTSA still is waiting for a full list of affected vehicles from Takata. The problems are in cars with certain Takata passenger-side and driver-side inflators, which can rupture and potentially send metal shrapnel into the cabin.
“The actions expand regional recalls of Takata passenger-side inflators, currently limited to areas of high absolute humidity, to nationwide recalls involving more than 16 million vehicles,” the Transportation Department said in a statement. “They also expand the current nationwide recall of driver-side inflators to more than 17 million vehicles.”
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