Ford (IW 500/6) said Thursday that it was expanding its recall of vehicles equipped with faulty Takata airbags nationwide, as required by U.S. safety regulators, and in other countries.
The action will add 447,310 vehicles to the recall for defective Takata driver-side airbag inflators, bringing the total to nearly 539,000, Ford said.
Certain airbags made by the Japanese auto parts company can deploy with excessive force, sending shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least five driver deaths, four in the US and one in Malaysia, reportedly have been linked to the problem.
Ford said Thursday it was aware of one accident with one of its Takata airbag-equipped vehicles with an injury that may be related to the condition.
The expanded Ford recall affects some 463,000 vehicles in the U.S.; 27,500 in Canada; 7,600 in Mexico and 4,500 outside of North America.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration a month ago demanded a national recall of vehicles with the driver-side frontal airbags after finding an airbag failure in a vehicle outside the initial regional high-humidity recall areas.
To date, as many as 20 million vehicles have been recalled worldwide, including 10 million in the U.S., where Takata is under investigation by the Justice Department and Congress and is facing lawsuits over the airbag problems.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014