NEW YORK -- Takata will recall an additional 35 to 40 million airbags due to the explosion risk they pose to drivers and passengers, according to a U.S. transportation official familiar with its plans.
The expansion of what was already the nation's largest auto recall is due to be announced later Wednesday by Mark Rosekind, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
At least 10 U.S. deaths have been linked to the airbag problems, which can explode and send shrapnel onto the faces and necks of victims. The airbags are spread across 22 different brands of cars and trucks. Honda Motor has the most cars with the faulty airbags.
The recall's expansion means that more than 20% of the nearly 260 million cars on U.S. roads have faulty airbags that need to be replaced.
There are already tens of millions of cars that have been identified as needing new airbags, but NHTSA has not been able to provide a precise number of affected vehicles. It does say that more than 8 million airbags that have been replaced, although some cars have had one airbag replaced and some have had two replaced.
But many owners of cars or trucks with airbags that are included on the recall list will have to wait months for a replacement airbag to become available. This expansion of the recall will only worsen the wait for replacement airbags.