35-40 million more Takata airbags added to recall

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The NHTSA announced on Wednesday that 35 to 40 million more Takata airbags are being added to what is already the largest auto recall in American history.

The NHTSA said on Wednesday that 10 people have died from injuries suffered by defective airbags and more than 100 have been injured. An NHTSA spokesperson said the recall was necessary “To protect the safety of all Americans.”

Wednesday’s announcement brings the total number of vehicles included in the recall close to 69 million. Prior to Wednesday’s announcement, 28.8 million Takata inflators had been recalled.

Takata’s inflators can explode with too much force and send shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least 11 people have died worldwide and over 100 have been hurt by the inflators.

The extended recall will have five phases through 2019. Dealers should take action immediately said the NHTSA on Wednesday.

Consumers are urged to check SaferCar.gov for details and updates about the recall and to check to see if their vehicle is included in the recall.

The latest news has car owners like Michael Moore worried.

“Unfortunately, we are possibly jeopardizing our safety. It is a giant concern to us,” Moore said. “This could go on for years. I mean cars will passed on to new owners. I mean it is an ugly nightmare for the auto industry for sure, without a doubt.”

“I think it is maybe the amount of cars that are out on the market, so it is going to take a while, but hopefully it is being taken care of,” car owner Carlos DeLeon said.

Local dealerships are waiting for the replacement parts to arrive.

John Benson runs the service department at Bill Currie Ford in Tampa. “We try to do what we can for our customers, but in situations like this where the parts are not available there is not a lot we can do,” Benson said.

US Senator Bill Nelson, D-Fla., is a member of the committee that oversees the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. He issued a statement Wednesday, saying in part, “The top priority must be doing whatever is necessary to get these potentially deadly airbags out of people’s cars as quickly as possible.”

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