Takata adds new inflator type to huge air bag recall

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DETROIT (AP) — Takata is adding a new type of air bag inflator to the nation’s largest automotive recall.

The company filed documents with the U.S. government adding 2.7 million vehicles to the recall from Ford, Nissan and Mazda, all with a type of inflator that previously was thought to be safe.

The affected vehicles are from the 2005 through 2012 model years.

Takata inflators can explode with too much force and spew shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least 17 people have died and more than 180 injured due to the problem. The inflators have caused the largest automotive recall in U.S. history with 42 million vehicles and up to 69 million inflators being called back for repairs.

Nissan said the new recall affects just over 515,000 Versa subcompact hatchback and sedans from the 2007 through 2012 model years. Mazda said its recall covers about 6,000 B-Series trucks from 2007 through 2009. Ford, which has the most vehicles involved in the latest recall, is reviewing the information and will file a list of models within the five days required by law.

Crushed by mounting recall and legal costs, Takata filed for bankruptcy last month in the U.S. and Japan, saying it was the only way to ensure it could keep supplying replacements for faulty inflators. Most of the company’s assets will be bought by rival Key Safety Systems for about $1.6 billion. Remnants of Takata’s operations will continue to make inflators to be used as replacement parts for 19 affected automakers.