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Faulty Takata air bags trigger largest auto recall in history.

The Japanese car parts maker Takata is to double the recall of US cars using its potentially deadly airbags to a record nearly 34 million vehicles.

After refusing for years, Takata is also admitting for the first time that its airbags, installed in the cars of 11 major carmakers, are defective, US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced on Tuesday.

Foxx said the problem airbags had been responsible for "at least" five deaths.

But officials admitted it could take years to get enough replacement airbag inflators, the source of the problem, for all the cars equipped with the airbags.

"The Department of Transportation 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," Foxx said.

"We will not stop our work until every airbag is replaced."

The recall, the largest in US history, aims to replace problematic inflators in the airbags which can cause them to deploy with explosive force, sending potentially lethal shrapnel into drivers and passengers.

Mark Rosekind, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), said the companies that installed the Takata airbags in their cars and trucks would now have to announce specific vehicle recalls.

Those carmakers are Honda, Toyota, General Motors, BMW and Ford, among others.

"From the very beginning, our goal has been simple: a safe air bag in every vehicle," Rosekind told a news conference.

"The steps we're taking today represent significant progress toward that goal."

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Publication:AKIpress News Agency
Date:May 20, 2015
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