Toyota Motor recalled 247,000 cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks in the United States on Monday because they are equipped with potentially defective front passenger air bag inflators from Japan's Takata Corp that can rupture and spray metal shrapnel, according to U.S. safety regulators.
That raised the number of vehicles affected by regional recalls launched in June by several automakers due to the Takata air bags to more than 4.5 million.
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The regional recalls by Toyota and other automakers including Honda Motor and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Chrysler Group began in certain high-humidity areas of the United States after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) started investigating reports of air bag explosions in Florida and Puerto Rico.
Prompted by NHTSA, Takata and automakers have been trying to determine whether exposure to high humidity caused any defect in the inflators collected though the regional recalls.