US auto safety regulators have ordered Japanese manufacturer Takata to recall millions more inflators installed in cars in the United States. They said the airbags concerned would have to be replaced in several phases.
Airbag maker Takata would have to recall a further 35 to 40 million inflators in the United States, the US National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Wednesday.
It reiterated that the airbags made by the Japanese supplier could rupture explosively when deployed, spraying metal fragments at drivers and passengers.
Combined with the close to 30 million Takata inflators already under recall, corresponding to 24 million vehicles, the expanded action amounts to the largest recall in US history. It is to take place in phases extending to December 2019.
"Today's action is a significant step in the US Department of Transportation's aggressive oversight of Takata on behalf of drivers and passengers across America," US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement.
Honda disclosed Wednesday that two more people died in Malaysia when their Takata-made airbags ruptured in two separate incidents in April and May respectively.
Thirteen deaths and many injuries have been linked to the inflator defect, 10 deaths in the US alone.
Carmakers around the globe have recalled more than 50 million vehicles with the affected airbags since 2008.
hg/cjc (AFP, dpa)