A fault found in an airbag system led to a recall which now stands at 3.4 million vehicles. Most were manufactured between 2000 and 2004. Models include BMW, Honda, Infiniti, Lexus, Mazda, Nissan, Pontiac and Toyota.
The vehicles were all fitted with the same airbag from Japanese supplier Takata Corp. The problem is an inflator that deteriorates over time, causing the inflator to rupture, which in turn can cause injury to occupants during a crash by pieces of the inflator breaking off and turning into projectiles with the possibility of fire.
Vehicle owners with defective air bags as original equipment, or as a replacement, will be notified within weeks.
Dealers will then inspect the vehicles, and where a defective air bag inflator is identified, the component will be replaced, free of charge. The NHTSA said that it is not aware of any related deaths or injuries. For full details on vehicles affected by the recall, call the Department of Transportation safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236.