Takata recall expands to 2.7M cars thought to be safe

Takata is adding 2.7 million vehicles from Ford, Nissan and Mazda to the long list of those recalled to replace potentially dangerous air bag inflators.

The inflators are a new type that previously was thought to be safe. Vehicles affected are from the 2005 through 2012 model years.

Takata air bag recall becomes biggest ever in US

Takata inflators can explode with too much force and spew shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least 17 people have died and more than 180 injured due to the problem.

Takata and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not identify the additional vehicles recalled.

Takata uses the chemical ammonium nitrate to inflate air bags. But it can deteriorate when exposed to humidity and high temperatures. Previously the company thought inflators with a drying agent were safe. But the government says new tests show that some inflators with the drying agent pose a safety risk.

On Monday, Honda said a man died in June 2016 when an inflator ruptured while he was working inside a 2001 Honda Accord using a hammer. His death was the 12th in the U.S. and 17th in the world related to the defective airbags. 

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Last week, Takata filed for bankruptcy in Tokyo and Delaware. A small part of Takata will continue to manufacture replacements for the faulty air bag inflators.