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What Canadians need to know about the widespread Takata airbag recall

This undated photo provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows the frontal offset crash test of the 2005 Subaru Legacy.
This undated photo provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows the frontal offset crash test of the 2005 Subaru Legacy. AP Photo/Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

One of the widest vehicle recalls in history expanded on May 19 when Takata Corp., one of the world’s largest suppliers of airbags, announced even more of its airbags were defective.

Here’s what you need to know.

It’s the largest recall in U.S. history

Takata announced on May 19 that it had agreed to declare 33.8 million air bags defective, effectively doubling the number of vehicles included in the already ongoing recall.

Eleven automakers, including Honda and Toyota, have already recalled some 17 million vehicles in the United States due to the same issue.

Canadian recall

Transport Canada has released a detailed list of vehicles being recalled in Canada due to faulty airbags, saying 1.2 million vehicles in this country are part of the worldwide recall.

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Some automakers have either gone silent or aren’t ready to say whether any vehicles in Canada will be recalled.

Honda Canada told Global News in a statement on May 20 that the company is reviewing the information to “determine what new actions may be required to further ensure the safety of our customers in North America.”

Toyota Canada has already recalled 14,570 vehicles from 2004 and 2005 Rav4 models, 3,803 Tundra models from 2003 and 2004, and 606 Sequoia vehicles from 2003 and 2004.

“Toyota’s focus remains on the safety and security of our customers,” Sandy Di Felice, a spokesperson for Toyota Canada, said in an email. “Toyota is currently evaluating NHTSA’s industry-wide announcement.”

Chrysler too is “considering the new information” before issuing any recall notice. It has recalled 258,586 due to driver’s-side air-bag inflators but said in a statement that the inflators are different than those involved in the six fatalities.

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BMW is “working with regulators and Takata to determine the effect upon our vehicles and any further actions, if any, that BMW should take,” according to a statement.

If your car is recalled, you should receive a call from the manufacturer.

How do I find out if my car has been recalled?

The full list of the 1,242,111 vehicles included in the expanded recall can be found on Ottawa’s HealthyCanadians.ca website, while a list of affected models in older recalls for the same issue can be found on Transport Canada’s website.

The issue? The airbags were exploding

The vehicles are being recalled due to a problem with the airbags. The chemical that inflates the air bag can explode violently, destroying a metal inflator inside the mechanism and sending shrapnel into the passenger compartment.

The faulty airbags have been responsible for six deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide.

NHTSA officials are still trying to figure out what’s causing the inflators to explode.

– with files from The Associated Press

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