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On the heels of an expanded recall of vehicles with potentially defective airbags made by Japanese airbag supplier Takata, some are criticizing the geographic scope of the recall efforts.
In a letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey questioned the recall's focus on high-humidity states, reports USA Today. "We believe that NHTSA should immediately issue a nationwide safety recall on all the affected cars, regardless of where the car is," Blumenthal wrote.
The recall issued last week by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration brought the total number of vehicles affected by the airbag recalls to over 12 million worldwide. It was the latest of several recalls issued for vehicles with Takata airbags this year alone.
Vehicles subject to the recall may have a potentially fatal defect in the airbag inflators. Reports from consumers and tests performed on vehicles have shown that the inflators may explode when the airbag deploys, sending shrapnel flying into the vehicle compartment.
The problem may be somehow linked to the effects of high humidity, according to the NHTSA consumer advisory issued last week. The advisory notes that the recall is particularly urgent for car owners in areas with high humidity, including Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, Hawaii. and a number of U.S. territories.
The automakers affected by the recall include domestic manufacturers such as Ford along with European companies such as BMW. But Japanese automakers are the most affected: Over 5 million Honda vehicles are subject to the recall, and nearly 800,000 Toyota vehicles are too.
Consumers who believe they may own a vehicle that has been recalled can find out by using the NHTSA's online recall search tool. The tool uses a vehicle's VIN to search for any incomplete recall repairs that may be needed. According to the advisory, consumers whose vehicles are shown as not affected by this or other current recalls should still periodically check their VIN, as manufacturers continue to add VINs to the recalls database.
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