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Takata Air Bag Recall Doubles To Nearly 34 Million

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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami/AP) — Takata Corp. has declared 33.8 million airbags  defective, doubling the number of cars and trucks in what is now the largest auto recall in U.S history.

The chemical that inflates the air bag can explode with too much force, blowing apart a metal inflator and sending shrapnel into the passenger compartment. The faulty inflators are responsible for six deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide.

Sara Baker says she was injured by an airbag when she was involved crash in Southwest Miami-Dade while driving her 2002 Honda Accord back in January.

"When my airbag deployed, it severely cut my face and messed it and took a piece of my hear off," said Baker.

CBS4 News aired Baker's story shortly after her injury.  Her face was partly bandaged.  Doctors were able to reattach her ear but she's not able to hear well and has a scar down her jaw line.

"It's just been horrific, you know, mentally, physically, wasn't able to work for three months," said Baker.

The recall announcement was made Tuesday afternoon by the heads of the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which reached an agreement with Takata after sparring with the company for the past year over the size of the recalls and the cause of the problem.

According to documents filed by the government and Takata in this latest recall, moisture in the inflators could lead to excessive internal pressure, which can cause the airbags to rupture.

That's especially worrisome in a place like South Florida because of our high humidity.

Eleven automakers, including Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp., have recalled 17 million vehicles in the U.S. and more than 36 million worldwide because of the problem. It's unclear which manufacturers will be most affected by the expansion of the recall.

CLICK HERE to watch Oralia Ortega's report

The Takata air bag recall dwarfs last year's highly publicized recall of 2.6 million General Motors small cars for defective ignition switches and Toyota's recalls of 10 million vehicles for problems with unintended acceleration.

"We know that owners are worried about their safety and the safety of their families," said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind.  "This is probably the most complex consumer safety recall in U.S. history."

Rosekind said people who get recall notices in the mail should immediately make an appointment to get their cars fixed.

Click here for a link NHTSA officials recommend to check on vehicle recalls.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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