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In our previous blog, we detailed the record-breaking number of auto recalls that have taken place in the U.S. this year – a staggering 56 million. One of the most notable recalls contributing to the massive number involved defective Takata airbags, which can malfunction during deployment and send shards of metal flying toward drivers and passengers. According to information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Takata airbags have been associated with at least 5 deaths and an estimated 140 injuries. In response to the dangers posed by Takata airbags, automakers earlier this year recalled nearly 8 million U.S. cars and trucks. The NHTSA followed up the recall by releasing a consumer advisory urging owners to take immediate action if their vehicles had the recalled airbags. Initially, safety officials suspected that the problem with Takata airbags was linked to areas with high humidity and therefore issued the recall only in certain U.S. states and territories. Earlier this week, however, federal regulators stressed that the defect presented a clear danger to all vehicle owners and called on automakers to expand recalls nationwide. The decision to expand the recall was made after safety officials evaluated airbag failures in vehicles outside of the regional recall area. According to the NHTSA, the expanded recall would cover driver side airbags manufactured by Takata in a number of vehicles. The federal organization is also asking automakers to submit reports under oath on airbag testing and plans to initiate repair services. Takata is still being investigated. If you are concerned that your vehicle may be affected, contact your dealer or use the NHTSA VIN search tool. Our injury attorneys are also available to help you learn more about auto defects and your rights after a preventable car accident.