The United States government warns that more than 4.7 million drivers could be in danger due to a defect in a popular brand of air bags and asks that car owners get the defective parts fixed as soon as possible.
Air bags made by Tokyo-based auto part manufacturer Takata Corp., the NHTSA explained, may have faulty inflator mechanisms that can rupture air bags — releasing metal fragments when the air bags are deployed in crashes.
The defect has led to four deaths and multiple injuries, safety advocates say.
In September, for example, a 46-year-old woman died of severe neck wounds she sustained in a car crash in Florida.
The wounds, investigators say, could have been the result of metal fragments flying out of her air bag in her 2001 Honda Accord. The investigation is ongoing.
The defective air bags were used by Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, General Motors and Ford. Worldwide, 12 million vehicles have been recalled so far due to this problem. In the United States, an estimated 20 million vehicle could be in jeopardy.
So far, Toyota has recalled passenger air bags in 247,000 vehicles ranging from the Lexus to the Toyota Tundra. Toyota is collaborating with representatives from Takata to determine the cause of the rupture. High humidity, for example, could play a role in the issue.
Safety advocates estimate that some 20 million cars could be in jeopardy.
To determine whether your car is included in the recall, visit this website.