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Takata agrees to recall 33.8 million air bag parts (+video)

Air bag maker Takata Corp. has agreed to declare 33.8 million air bag parts defective, making it the biggest auto recall in US history. The announcement doubles the number of vehicles recalled in the US so far.

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Child seats manufactured by Takata Corp. are displayed at a Toyota Motor Corp.'s showroom in Tokyo. Air bag maker Takata Corp. has agreed to declare 33.8 million air bag parts defective, making it the biggest auto recall in US history.

Shizuo Kambayashi/AP/File

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Air bag maker Takata Corp. has agreed to declare 33.8 million of its inflator mechanisms defective, effectively doubling the number of cars and trucks that have been recalled in the US so far.

The announcement was made Tuesday afternoon by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which reached an agreement with Takata after sparring with the company for the past year over the size of the recalls and the cause of the problem with millions of air bags. It will be the largest recall in the agency's history.

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Many of Takata's air bags can explode with too much force, blowing apart a metal canister and sending shrapnel into the passenger compartment. The air bags are responsible for six deaths worldwide and more than 100 injuries.

Ten automakers, including Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp., have recalled 17 million vehicles in the US and more than 36 million worldwide because of the problem. Those numbers will grow by millions because of the agreement, but it's unclear which manufacturers will be most affected by the expanded recalls.

Automakers must conduct recalls even if they are for defective parts.

The Takata recall dwarfs last year's highly publicized recall of 2.6 million General Motors small cars for defective ignition switches.