Nissan recalls 105K cars, says airbags can explode

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DETROIT — Nissan is recalling nearly 105,000 small cars to replace Takata passenger air bag inflators that can explode and hurl shrapnel at drivers and passengers.

Included are the 2011 Versa sedan and the 2011 and 2012 Versa hatchback. It only applies to cars that have been registered in 42 states and Washington, D.C., as part of a coordinated phase-in of Takata recalls.

Takata uses the chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the air bags in a crash. But the chemical can deteriorate due to high temperatures and humidity and blow apart a metal canister. At least 23 people have died worldwide and about 300 have been hurt.

Owners will be notified by mail and dealers will replace the inflators for free. The recall starts this month.

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