UPDATE 8-Takata doubling U.S. recall for defective air bags to 34 mln vehicles

Wed May 20, 2015 8:21am EDT
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* Largest auto recall in U.S. history

* Takata had previously resisted expanding the recalls

* Defect has been tied to six deaths worldwide

* Estimated cost of recall up to $5 billion - analyst

* Takata shares slide 10 pct in Tokyo (Adds comment from Japanese carmakers, updates share prices, advances date)

By David Morgan and Ben Klayman

WASHINGTON/DETROIT, May 20 (Reuters) - Japanese air bag manufacturer Takata Corp is doubling a recall of potentially deadly air bags to nearly 34 million vehicles, making it the largest automotive recall in American history, U.S. safety regulators said on Tuesday.

The recall involves passenger- and driver-side air bag inflators in vehicles made by 11 automakers, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Takata said. It expands on the 16.6 million vehicles called back for repairs for the same issue in previous regional and national recalls, and boosts the number of vehicles affected globally since 2008 to more than 53 million.

Regulators linked six deaths worldwide to defective Takata air bags which exploded too violently and shot shrapnel into the vehicles.   Continued...