The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today added about 5 million airbag inflators to the growing list of Takata airbag recalls, and said three additional brands — Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen — will become part of the massive ongoing action. This latest recall expansion comes after the recent death of a pickup truck driver in South Carolina, which brings the total related U.S. fatalities to nine among the 10 worldwide.
Related: More Takata Airbag Recall News
It was not immediately clear which specific car models would be under recall. NHTSA is receiving two specific filings from Takata, spokesman Gordon Trowbridge told reporters in a conference call today. Both filings involve driver’s-side airbags.
Cautioning that its findings are preliminary and “subject to significant change,” Trowbridge said the first recall expansion — of around 1 million cars — involves vehicles from Audi, Volkswagen, Daimler vans, Ford, a small number of Mazda B-Series pickup trucks and “some Saab vehicles.” The second expansion, covering around 4 million cars, also involves Volkswagen, BMW, Honda and Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
The first recall expansion stemmed from testing on a 2006 Ford Ranger pickup truck in which a motorist recently died in South Carolina. The second expansion stemmed from airbag testing on Toyota RAV4 SUVs.
The Ford incident would mark the 10th global death among about 100 injuries from the rupturing airbags, whose defective inflators come from supplier Takata Corp. In a statement to Cars.com, Ford said it’s “working with the agency to review the available information, but we have very limited information at this point.”
The automaker would not immediately clarify which cars it was adding to its Takata recalls, which thus far includes the Ranger, Mustang and a handful of Ford GT exotics.
Stay tuned for more; we’ll update our full list of cars under recall once NHTSA posts most specifics.