[WASHINGTON] Japanese air bag manufacturer Takata Corp on Monday filed reports with US auto safety regulators declaring nearly 14 million air bag inflators defective.
Earlier this month, Takata said it would expand recalls for defective air bag inflators by 35 million to 40 million in several tranches through 2019, adding to the 28.8 million recalled before May 4.
Monday's recall of nearly 14 million inflators is the first tranche of the expansion announced on May 4.
This is the largest recall in US auto safety history. Malfunctioning Takata air bag inflators can explode with too much force, sending shrapnel into vehicles. The issue has been linked to 13 deaths worldwide, and more than 100 injuries.
Takata said there are no reports of any ruptures or injuries linked to the inflators involved in the most recent expansion, but agreed "out of an abundance of caution" to file the defect reports to promote public safety and in cooperation with US regulators.
Takata said it is aware "that remedy parts are not currently available for many of the vehicles containing inflators." It agreed to work closely with each manufacturer to develop a recall plan to focus on high-humidity areas where the risks are greatest.
Air bag inflators made by Takata have shown an increased chance of malfunctioning, over time, when exposed to humidity.
Earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Tesla Motors Inc, Fisker Automotive and Jaguar Land Rover will recall Takata air bag inflators, bringing the number of automakers involved to 17, including Honda Motor Co, Ford Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.
Jaguar Land Rover is a Tata Motors Ltd brand.
The expansion of up to 40 million inflators will cover all the remaining Takata inflators containing ammonium nitrate-based propellant on driver and passenger frontal air bags without a chemical drying agent, known as a desiccant, that were not previously recalled.