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Vehicle owners with defective airbags urged to take immediate action

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Recall

NEW YORK — Federal safety regulators and Toyota Motor are stepping up efforts to get car owners to bring in cars whose airbags might explode, sending metal fragments into the driver and other passengers.

The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that police investigating the death of a woman earlier this month discovered that the “stab-like wounds” in her neck were apparently caused by the exploding airbag. The woman, Hien Tran, died a couple of days after the accident, even though she was wearing a seat belt and the crash itself should not have caused her death, according to the report.

Tran was driving a Honda Accord, one of 7.9 million vehicles that have been recalled because they have the problem airbags, which were all manufactured by Japanese parts maker Takata. NHTSA reports it knows of six incidents involving the defective airbag, but that number does not yet count Tran’s accident and death.

Toyota spokeswoman Cindy Knight said her company is stepping up its recall effort after it received new information from Takata about testing that was done on the airbags involved. A spokesman for Takata was not immediately available for comment.

Because the problem seems to be associated with high humidity, the agency and the automaker are targeting owners of vehicles in states such as Florida and Hawaii, as well as island territories Puerto Rico and Guam.

Most of the cars were recalled in June, but owners of recalled cars often don’t respond quickly to the notice.

Besides Toyota and Honda, manufacturers included in the recall include Mazda, BMW, Nissan, and General Motors. An Associated Press article also states that Ford is included in the recall. Earlier reports indicate that Ford had a separate airbag recall, that includes some of the the Ford C-Max, Fusion, Escape and Lincoln MKZ vehicles from model years 2013 and 2014.

This has been a record year for car recalls with more than 52 million. About one in every five cars on the road has been recalled.

Check your VIN here: http://www.safercar.gov/

NHTSA said the affected vehicles by manufacturer are:

Toyota: 778,177 vehicles potentially affected

2002 – 2004 Lexus SC
2003 – 2004 Toyota Corolla
2003 – 2004 Toyota Corolla Matrix
2002 – 2004 Toyota Sequoia
2003 – 2004 Toyota Tundra
2003 – 2004 Pontiac Vibe

Honda: 2,803,214 vehicles potentially affected

2001 – 2007 Honda Accord (4 cyl)
2001 – 2002 Honda Accord (6 cyl)
2001 – 2005 Honda Civic
2002 – 2006 Honda CR-V
2003 – 2011 Honda Element
2002 – 2004 Honda Odyssey
2003 – 2007 Honda Pilot
2006 – Honda Ridgeline
2003 – 2006 Acura MDX
2002 – 2003 Acura TL/CL

Nissan: 437,712 vehicles potentially affected

2001 – 2003 Nissan Maxima
2001 – 2003 Nissan Pathfinder
2002 – 2003 Nissan Sentra
2001 – 2003 Infiniti I30/I35
2002 – 2003 Infiniti QX4
2003 – Infiniti FX

Mazda: 18,050 vehicles potentially affected

2003 – 2004 Mazda6
2004 Mazda RX-8

BMW: 573,935 vehicles potentially affected

2000 – 2005 3 Series Sedan
2000 – 2006 3 Series Coupe
2000 – 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon
2000 – 2006 3 Series Convertible
2001 – 2006 M3 Coupe
2001 – 2006 M3 Convertible

General Motors: 133,221 vehicles potentially affected

2002 – 2003 Buick LeSabre
2002 – 2003 Buick Rendezvous
2002 – 2003 Cadillac DeVille
2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer
2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Impala
2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Venture
2002 – 2003 GMC Envoy
2002 – 2003 GMC Envoy XL
2002 – 2003 Oldsmobile Aurora
2002 – 2003 Oldsmobile Bravada
2002 – 2003 Oldsmobile Silhouette
2002 – 2003 Pontiac Bonneville
2002 – 2003 Pontiac Montana

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