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Takata Airbag Recall Grows to Nearly 34 Million Vehicles

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/19/2015 Jason Udy

The Takata airbag recall has just been expanded significantly, The Wall Street Journal reports. With a total of 33.8 million vehicles in the U.S. now recalled, the latest figure doubles the number of vehicles affected by the Takata airbag crisis. The recall is expected to be the largest in the U.S. for any consumer product.

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The recall includes certain driver- and passenger-side airbag inflators. As part of the recall, Takata will declare its airbag inflators defective, according to the National Highway Transportation Administration. Additionally, a consent order requires the automotive supplier to cooperate with the government agency in ongoing investigations.

Data analysis “points to moisture infiltrating the defective inflators over extended periods of time as a factor...[causing] changes in the structure of the chemical propellant that ignites when an air bag deploys,” the NHTSA reports.

2014 Nissan Rogue IIHS Driver And Airbags© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Nissan Rogue IIHS Driver And Airbags

While the list of affected automakers from the latest recall hasn’t been released, previous recalls include Honda, BMW, GM, Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, and Chrysler. With moisture suspected as a cause of the malfunction, vehicles in more humid regions will likely be fixed first.

Moisture in the airbag inflators can cause the propellant to degrade over time, which can cause the airbags to explode sending shrapnel into the vehicle. Six deaths and hundreds of injuries worldwide have been linked to the issue.

Pictured above are airbags from the 2014 Nissan Rogue -- they are not subject to the Takata recall.

Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required)

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