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Japanese carmaker Honda has expanded its recall of vehicles with potentially defective Takata air bags.
The move comes at the request of the U.S. government, reports The Detroit News, and came after the manufacturer of the air bags, Japan's Takata Corp., refused to expand their own recall. The Honda recall also follows an expansion of recall efforts by Toyota last week linked to the same defective air bag issue in which the company added 50,000 vehicles to its own international recall.
So far defective Takata air bags have been linked to five deaths, four of which have been in Honda cars. Since 2013, more than 7.8 million vehicles with Takata air bags have been recalled in the United States, with millions more being recalled internationally.
The air bags in vehicles subject to the recall may have defective air bag inflator mechanisms. When the air bags inflate, these mechanisms have been reported to explode, sending metal fragments into the passenger compartment and causing serious injury or death.
Initial recall efforts in the United States were focused on areas with high humidity, as that was believed to be linked to problem with the air bags' inflator mechanisms. However, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently requested that five automakers -- Honda, Ford, Chrysler, Mazda, and BMG -- expand their recalls nationwide, with Honda being the first of the five to do so.
Consumers can determine whether a vehicle is subject to this, or other recalls, by using the searchable recall database set up by the NHTSA. Using a vehicle's unique Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), consumers can go to the NHTSA's Safercar website and see whether a vehicle has had recall repairs completed for this or any safety recall issued within the last 15 years.
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