Former Chrysler Group expands Takata driver-side air bag recall globally

Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:22pm EST
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DETROIT (Reuters) - FCA US (FCAU.N: Quote), the former Chrysler Group, on Friday expanded a U.S. regional recall of older cars with potentially defective driver-side Takata air bags to a global action, affecting more than 3.3 million vehicles.

FCA was one of five automakers asked by U.S. regulator National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last month to expand a recall of such vehicles beyond a limited area with high humidity.

The FCA total for Takata Corp (7312.T: Quote)-related recalls is now 3,672,770, including affected passenger-side airbags.

The number of vehicles recalled globally, for all automakers, since 2008 for Takata air bag problems tops 24 million.

Takata has said that extended exposure to high humidity could damage the propellant in the inflators, causing them to spray vehicle occupants with metal shrapnel when the air bags inflate.

Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote) expanded its recall to a national U.S. action on Thursday, joining Honda Motor Co (7267.T: Quote) and Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T: Quote). Only BMW (BMWG.DE: Quote) has not expanded its regional recall and officials with the German automaker could not be reached to comment.

Driver-side air bag inflator incidents have been linked to at least five deaths, none in FCA vehicles.

FCA said neither it nor Takata has identified a defect in the affected population of inflators, which the automaker said are different from the ones linked to the five deaths. FCA said it continues to study the suspect inflators.

Outside of Florida, one of the regions covered by the initial regional recall, no FCA vehicles have been linked to an air bag that has deployed with too much force, the company said. It is aware of one injury related to the issue in an older-model sedan in Florida.   Continued...

Takata Corp's company plate is seen at an entrance of the building where the Takata Corp headquarters is located in Tokyo December 9, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino