Automotive air bag supplier Takata Corp. has expanded the recall of its defective inflator mechanisms in the U.S. to 34 million units, making it the largest consumer product recall in American history.
Previously, the company had issued a recall of 18 million vehicles for the problematic airbags and this week’s announcement now means nearly one out of every seven cars on U.S. roads today are affected.
The defect can cause the airbags to explode violently when deployed, spewing shrapnel into the cabin of the car, possibly injuring the occupants of the car. Several deaths have been linked to the this issue, one involving a Malaysian where the woman’s 2003 Honda City met with a collision that resulted in the faulty driver’s-side airbag exploding, sending metal shards into her body.
Takata Corp. supplies its airbags to many car makers as well – Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, BMW and General Motors just to name a few. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) currently does not have a list of cars affected by the recall. However, with the number of car makers that source their airbags from Takata, the recalls will certainly not be limited to the U.S. only.
In Malaysia, UMW Toyota Motors recently issued a recall for its vehicles in relation to Takata-sourced airbags. We have yet to receive any word from other car makers if their vehicles have been affected by ‘Takata-gate’.