Gov’t: Takata air bag recalls to cover 42M cars when done

AP-Air Bag Death
FILE - This July 6, 2016, file photo, shows the logo of Takata Corp. at an auto supply shop in Tokyo. The U.S. government is confirming another death due to the rupture of an air bag made by Takata Corp. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says a 50-year-old woman died Sept. 30, 2016, in Riverside County, in California. Honda Motor Co. also confirmed the woman's death and said she was driving a 2001 Civic. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government says automakers will end up recalling 42 million vehicles with potentially deadly air bag inflators made by Takata Corp.

The National Highway Safety Administration released a schedule for further recalls on Friday as it tries to get automakers to move faster on the fixes.

Eventually, about 69 million inflators that can potentially explode with too much force and spew shrapnel into people will be recalled. Some cars will have both the driver side and passenger side air bags replaced.

As of last week, only 12.5 million, or about 18 percent, of the inflators had been replaced, and NHTSA said some automakers weren’t doing enough to contact owners. The agency ordered the companies to submit a “recall engagement plan” within 90 days to increase the completion rate.

Eleven people have been killed by Takata inflators in the U.S. and as many as 16 worldwide. The government says 180 people have been hurt in the U.S. alone.

Recalls are being phased in through the end of 2020. NHTSA added McLaren to the list of affected automakers, bringing the total to 19.

NHTSA officials said the recalls have been proceeding slowly in part because of a lack of availability of parts. Different cars need different air bag inflators, so it’s not always easy to snap new parts into place.

The agency says some consumers also haven’t gotten repairs even though parts are available. The agency is urging anyone who gets a recall notice to contact a dealer and get their vehicle repaired as quickly as possible.

Normally, around 70 percent of consumers complete recall repairs, the agency said. In this case, NHTSA wants the recall repair rate to achieve 100 percent.

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