Takata air bag recall becomes biggest ever in US

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirmed Tuesday earlier reports that air bag manufacturer Takata plans to declare 33.8 million vehicles defective.

"Takata has agreed to confirm that [their] airbag inflators are defective," said Anthony Foxx, the U.S. transportation secretary. "It is fair to say this is the most complex consumer recall in U.S. history."

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has pressed Takata to declare millions of vehicles defective since November. Faulty air bags are linked to at least six deaths and more than 100 injuries, The Detroit News reported.

"The expanded recalls encompass all of the older generation of phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate driver inflators manufactured by Takata, from the start of production to the end of production. These are the inflators that have been involved in most of the field incidents where inflators have ruptured," Takata said in a statement.

The agency added the recall could take several years and added it would provide the vehicle identification numbers (VINs) of the affected vehicles on www.safercar.gov.

Takata also announced it has filed four defect reports with U.S. officials saying 33.8 million vehicles are defective. Major automakers have recalled about 17 million vehicles with Takata air bag inflators in the U.S. since 2013.

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This picture taken on May 8, 2015 shows child car seats from Japanese auto parts maker Takata at a Toyota showroom in Tokyo. The world's biggest automaker Toyota said on May 13 that its recall of five million vehicles affected 35 models globally produced between March 2003 and November 2007 due to faulty airbags made by embattled supplier Takata.
Yoshikazu Tsuno | AFP | Getty Images
This picture taken on May 8, 2015 shows child car seats from Japanese auto parts maker Takata at a Toyota showroom in Tokyo. The world's biggest automaker Toyota said on May 13 that its recall of five million vehicles affected 35 models globally produced between March 2003 and November 2007 due to faulty airbags made by embattled supplier Takata.

The four reports will cover nearly all of the 17 million vehicles already recalled, the newspaper wrote.

The Department of Transportation said earlier Tuesday a "major" announcement on Takata air bag recalls was expected.

Read the full Detroit News report here.