Takata is nearly doubling the size of its already massive recall for faulty airbags, making it the largest auto recall in history.
The company has already recalled airbags used in about 18 million vehicles for the problem. This move will bring that number up to about 34 million autos. That is nearly one out of every seven cars on U.S. roads today.
The recall is one of the largest consumer product recalls ever.
At least five deaths have been tied to the faulty airbags. But Takata has previously resisted demands by regulators to get all the affected airbags off the road.
The airbags have been known to explode and send shrapnel into the face and body of both the driver and front seat passenger. Victims appeared to have been shot or stabbed, according to police who responded to the accidents. Many others had serious injuries including vision damage from shrapnel hitting them in the eye.
Most of the fatalities and most of the recalled cars were made by Honda (HMC).
But dozens of different models are affected, most of which were built between 2000 and 2011. Consumers can check to see if their car is included in the recall by going to a special website created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at http://www.safercar.gov/rs/takata/index.html.
Related: Takata airbag victims looked like they had been shot or stabbed
It’s not yet known what is causing the airbags to explode, admitted Mark Rosekind, the administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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