Toyota expands US Takata air bag recall to 600,000 extra vehicles

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– Toyota Motor Corp said on Tuesday it was expanding its safety recall involving Takata Corp front passenger air bag inflators to cover about 601,300 additional vehicles in the United States.

Takata and its US entity TK Holdings Inc filed for bankruptcy in June after it said it was recalling more than 100 million of its air bag inflators worldwide through the end of 2019 because they could inflate with too much force and spray metal fragments.

Air bags with the inflators have been linked to at least 180 injuries and 20 deaths, mostly in the United States including one in Louisiana that was identified last month.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Saturday posted a notice from Takata that said the company would recall another 3.3 million inflators for vehicles from automakers including Toyota, Honda Motor Co, BMW AG, Daimler AG, General Motors Co, Tata Motors Jaguar Land Rover unit and Subaru Corp.

NHTSA said in November that 19 automakers had recalled 46 million inflators in 34 million USvehicles — and by 2019 as many as 70 million US inflators will have been recalled. In June, the agency said only about 35% of vehicles recalled have been repaired to date.

In January 2016, Takata agreed to plead guilty to criminal wrongdoing and pay US$1 billion to resolve a US Justice Department investigation into the inflator ruptures. – AFP