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Takata recalls air bag inflators in 5.1 mln US vehicles

U.S. auto safety regulators said Tuesday that air bag maker Takata declared 5.1 million U.S. vehicles defective, as the company disclosed an 11th death could be linked to a faulty airbag.

Most of the vehicles mentioned in numerous previous recalls involving Takata air bags have been older models, but the new recalls include at least one 2014 model. The Japanese company said newer vehicles remain under "investigation and could be subject to recall at a later date."

The newly released documents show that regulators may prod automakers to recall recent models.

A deployed airbag is seen in a 2001 Honda Accord at the LKQ Pick Your Part salvage yard on May 22, 2015 in Medley, Florida. The largest automotive recall in history centers around the defective Takata Corp. air bags that are found in millions of vehicles that are manufactured by BMW, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota. (
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A deployed airbag is seen in a 2001 Honda Accord at the LKQ Pick Your Part salvage yard on May 22, 2015 in Medley, Florida. The largest automotive recall in history centers around the defective Takata Corp. air bags that are found in millions of vehicles that are manufactured by BMW, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota. (

That could greatly increase the total number of vehicles recalled, which in the United States now stands at about 24 million vehicles involving about 28 million Takata air bag inflators.

Ford Motor on Tuesday became the first of several automakers involved to announce a recall. A 2006 Ford Ranger was involved in a Dec. 22 crash that killed the driver when a Takata air bag inflator caused the bag to rupture, sending shrapnel into the vehicle.

A similar airbag inflator was involved in a fatal rupture of a Honda model in Malaysia in 2014, which prompted a worldwide recall by Honda Motor.

Takata said in a document released on Tuesday that there was another rupture of a similar inflator in August in India in a 2007 Honda Civic, but it is not clear if the rupture caused the death of the driver. That could be the 11th death worldwide attributed to defective Takata inflators.

Nine deaths related to Takata air bags have occurred in the United States. The death in the Ford Ranger is the first not to involve a car made by Honda.

U.S. regulators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Friday that the expanded recall was imminent.

The automakers involved in the new Takata inflator recalls include Honda, BMW, Volkswagen's Volkswagen and Audi brands,Toyota Motor, Daimler's Mercedes-Benz and Sprinter van brands, Mazda Motor, and Saab.

The Ford recall announced on Tuesday includes 391,354 2004-2006 Ford Rangers built in North America for driver-side air bags.

The Rangers recalled were previously recalled for potentially defective passenger-side air bag inflators, Ford said.

Honda has previously recalled about 6.28 million vehicles in the United States for air bag inflators, a Honda spokesman said. Honda worldwide has recalled vehicles with 23 million Takata air bag inflators since 2008 — not counting the latest recall.