The Takata airbag recall is expanding again with eight automakers adding another 12 million vehicles to the massive recall, seven million of which are in Japan. The total number of recalled vehicles now stands at over 50 million worldwide.
The new recalled vehicles are mostly a result of the addition of passenger side airbags and those in older vehicles, and include more vehicles from Fiat Chrysler (FCA), Ferrari, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota.
Vehicles are most susceptible in high-humidity areas, due to the absence of a drying agent that prevents the inflator chemical from burning to quickly and causing an explosion that could rupture the inflator and spew shrapnel into the cabin. The problem has been attributed as the cause in more than 100 injuries worldwide, including at least 11 deaths.
There are also likely to be more vehicles included as time passes and vehicle airbags, which are now not old enough to be included, age and are added to the list. Research shows a 6-year lifespan for the inflation chemical. For that reason, older vehicles in high-humidity areas are given priority for replacement parts, followed by those in warmer climates, and then those in the other regions.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has provided Takata with a timeline for compliance in replacing components but there is a current shortage and the company has applied for a bailout in order to deal with the costs of fulfilling the recall mandate.
In the latest round, Honda has added another 4.5 million inflators to the recall (expected to cover 2.2 million more Honda and Acura vehicles) and FCA added 4.3 million more modules.
Of interest in the latest round of recalls is that Honda is recalling 2,700 Gold Wing motorcycles that have optional airbags.
The list of recalled vehicles has become so extensive that owners are urged to use the NHTSA quick search, by entering the vehicle identification number (VIN) at vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/, though there will be a lag until the time the latest vehicles are entered into the database.