U.S. says 2.7M additional Takata air bag inflators to be recalled

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A recalled Takata airbag inflator removed it from a Honda Pilot is shown at the AutoNation Honda dealership service department in Miami, Florida, United States on June 25, 2015. REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo (Copyright Reuters 2016)

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tuesday that new testing is prompting Takata Corp to declare 2.7 million air bag inflators defective in Ford Motor Co, Nissan Motor Co and Mazda Motor Corp vehicles.

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Takata air bag inflators are already linked to 17 deaths and more than 180 injuries worldwide, and the recalls will eventually cover more than 100 million inflators. The auto safety agency said new testing is prompting the recall of some driver-side air bags built from 2015 through 2012.

Nissan said it will recall 627,000 Versa cars from 2007-2012 model years, including 515,000 in the United States "out of an abundance of caution." It will notify owners within 60 days with additional instructions.

Ford spokesman John Cangany said the issue covers about 2.2 million Ford vehicles, and the company has five days to respond to the Takata filing. The automaker is "aware of Takata’s submission, and we have been in regular contact with the agency on the issue. Importantly, we aren’t aware of any incidents, and test data doesn’t suggest any issues," he said.

Mazda said the new recall impacts just 6,000 B-series trucks.

More than 65 percent of 46.2 million previously recalled Takata airbag inflators in the United States have not been repaired. Takata filed for bankruptcy protection in June.

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"Takata has told the public that their line of air bag inflators with moisture absorbent was safe. This recall now raises serious questions about the threat posed by all of Takata’s ammonium nitrate-based airbags," U.S. Senator Bill Nelson said in a statement. "If even more are found to be defective, it will take us from the biggest recall ever to something that could become mind-boggling." 

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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