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Largest Auto Recall Ever — Takata Recalls 34 Million Cars for Airbag Repairs

The Japanese auto parts maker Takata has admitted that its airbags are defective, resulting in the largest automobile recall ever, some 34 million cars. In fact, it may be the biggest recall of any product ever.

The company finally agreed to expand its recall following pressure from regulators. The airbags in question can explode upon inflating, sending shrapnel flying. Not every Takata airbag is faulty — some of the problems take time to develop; many airbags function properly — but so far six deaths and more than 100 injuries are believed to have been caused by the defects.

The recall affects cars made by a wide range of manufacturers, including Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Subaru, General Motors, BMW, Chrysler and more. Of the 250 million cars on the road in America, about 14 percent will be recalled, or about one in seven. Car owners will be notified in the next several days if their vehicle needs repairs.

The Detroit News, which first broke the story, also reports that the 34 million cars would surpass the previous high for a product recall. That would be when Tylenol recalled 31 million bottles during a poison scare in 1982.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx laid out the scope of the recall during a news conference, saying, “It’s fair to say this is probably the most complex consumer safety recall in U.S. history. This is a monumental effort, there is no doubt about it.”

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