HATTIESBURG, MS - Pine Belt residents might want to get their vehicles' air bags checked after the Japanese company Takata told the Department of Transportation Tuesday that its airbags were defective and doubled its recall to about 34 million vehicles. DOT called this the largest automotive recall in U.S. history.
"Today is a major step forward for public safety," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a DOT press release Tuesday. "The (DOT) is taking the proactive steps necessary to ensure that defective inflators are replaced with safe ones as quickly as possible, and that the highest risks are addressed first. We will not stop our work until every air bag is replaced."
Automakers that announced individual recalls included BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota and Subaru. Toyota and Honda recommend residents of Mississippi to take immediate action.
Due to company and dealership policy, Vardaman Honda of Hattiesburg and Toyota of Hattiesburg could not comment on the recall.
For more than 10 years, the Japanese air bag manufacturer declined that its products were defective, while motorists died by exploding airbags and automakers across the globe recalled millions of cars, according to the New York Times.
The airbags are being recalled due to a defect in certain types of driver and passenger side air bag inflators, according to the DOT. The inflators were built with a propellant that can deteriorate over time. Some inflators are said to deploy too aggressively in an accident, while spewing plastic or metal shrapnel, USA Today reported.
Six deaths are blamed on flawed Takata air bags in Honda vehicles.
According to safercar.gov, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is waiting for the automakers to compile a full list of affected vehicles. Look for more updates soon.