Takata Will Recall More Than 33 Million Vehicles Alex Wong, Getty Images

Takata Will Recall More Than 33 Million Vehicles

This latest recall expansion will almost double the number of vehicles linked to defective exploding airbags.

Japanese auto parts maker Takata will double the recall of US cars using its faulty airbags to a record nearly 34 million vehicles, US officials said Tuesday.

After refusing to for years, Takata is also admitting for the first time that its airbags installed in the cars of 11 major automakers are defective, US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced.

The problem airbags "have been responsible, we believe, for at least five deaths," Foxx said.

The recall, the largest in US auto history, according to officials, aims to replace problematic inflators in the airbags which can cause them to deploy with explosive force, sending potentially lethal shrapnel into drivers and passengers.

Officials though admitted it could take years to get enough new inflators in all the cars equipped with Takata airbags.

“The Department of Transportation is taking the proactive steps necessary to ensure that defective inflators are replaced with safe ones as quickly as possible, and that the highest risks are addressed first," Foxx said.

"We will not stop our work until every air bag is replaced.”

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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