US agency warns car owners to get air bags fixed

Toyota (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye, File)

DETROIT (AP) – U.S. safety regulators are warning owners of more than 4.7 million vehicles that have been recalled for air bag problems to get them repaired immediately.

The warning issued Monday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers vehicles from multiple manufacturers that date to 2002.

Inflators can rupture in air bags made by Takata Corp., causing metal fragments to fly out when the bags are inflated in crashes. So far, automakers have recalled about 12 million vehicles worldwide because of the problem.

Safety advocates estimate that more than 20 million cars have the faulty inflators in the U.S. alone. They say at least four people have died from the problem.

The inflators have led to multiple recalls from Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, BMW and Mitsubishi.

Toyota:

— Total affected: 778,177.

— Models: 2002 to 2004 Lexus SC, 2003 to 2004 Toyota Corolla and Matrix, 2002 to 2004 Toyota Sequoia, 2003 to 2004 Pontiac Vibe made for General Motors by Toyota.

Honda:

— Total affected: 2.8 million.

— Models: 2001 to 2007 Accord four cylinder, 2002 to 2002 Accord six-cylinder; 2001 to 2005 Honda Civic; 2002 to 2006 Honda CR-V; 2003 to 2011 Honda Element; 2002 to 2004 Honda Odyssey; 2003 to 2007 Honda Pilot; 2006 Honda Ridgeline; 2003 to 2006 Acura MDX; 2002 to 2003 Acura TL/CL.

Nissan:

— Total affected: 437,712.

— Models: 2001 to 2003 Nissan Maxima, 2001 to 2003 Nissan Pathfinder, 2002 to 2003 Nissan Sentra, 2001 to 2003 Infiniti I30/I35; 2002 to 2003 Infiniti QX4, 2003 Infiniti FX.

Mazda:

— Total affected: 18,050.

— Models: 2003 to 2004 Mazda6, 2004 Mazda RX-8.

BMW:

— Total affected: 573,935.

— Models: 2000 to 2005 3 Series Sedan, 2000 to 2006 3 Series Coupe, 2000 to 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon, 2000 to 2006 3 Series Convertible, 2001 to 2006 M3 Coupe and Convertible.

General Motors:

— Total affected: 133,221.

— Models: 2002 to 2003 Buick LeSabre, 2002 to 2003 Buick Rendezvous, 2002 to 2003 Cadillac DeVille, 2002 to 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer, 2002 to 2003 Chevrolet Impala, 2002 to 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 2002 to 2003 Chevrolet Venture, 2002 to 2003 GMC Envoy and XL, 2002 to 2003 Oldsmobile Aurora, 2002 to 2003 Oldsmobile Bravada, 2002 to 2003 Oldsmobile Silhouette, 2002 to 2003 Pontiac Bonneville, 2002 to 2003 Pontiac Montana.

In addition, Ford conducted a “field service action” to fix 58,669 vehicles with Takata air bag inflators made during certain time periods. The vehicles have not been deemed defective, but Ford is repairing them anyway, it said in a statement. Covered models include some 2005 to 2007 Mustangs in Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands equipped with driver air bags produced by Takata; some 2005 to 2006 Ford GT vehicles in the same areas with driver and/or passenger air bags made by Takata; and certain 2004 Ford Rangers in the same areas with Takata passenger air bags.

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