Around 1.4 million vehicles have been recalled after problems with airbags were found in various car brands, reported People magazine.
Produced by Takata Corporation, the vehicles were recalled on Wednesday because of defective airbags, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The agency estimates that around 41.6 million vehicles around the world have previously had to be recalled due to problematic Takata airbags.
What makes this time different from previous recalls is that it only affects cars that have non-azide driver airbag inflators. The issue means that these types of airbags will either fail to inflate or explode when they are triggered, causing a risk of injury or death to drivers and passengers.
A spokesperson from the NHTSA explained what could happen in the most extreme circumstances.
"In extreme cases the inflator explodes, shooting shrapnel toward vehicle occupants.""Due to a manufacturing issue, the NADI inflators may absorb moisture, causing the inflators to rupture or the air bag cushion to underinflate. In the event of a crash necessitating air bag deployment, an inflator rupture may result in metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants."
Addressing owners of these vehicles, the NHTSA is urging people to take responsibility for their safety.
"The defect in the NADI inflators can result in the inflator either exploding or underinflating during deployment. NHTSA urges vehicle owners to take a few simple steps to protect themselves and others from this very serious threat to safety."
An Arizona man who died in March this year was the 16th person in the U.S. and the 24th worldwide to die due to the faulty Takata airbag inflator, according to USA Today. When triggered, the airbag of his Honda Civic reportedly exploded, hitting him with shrapnel.
Of the 24 deaths from defective airbags, 16 happened in the U.S., with seven in Malaysia and one in Australia. More than 200 in addition have been injured by them.
These airbags have brought about the largest automotive recall in U.S. history. Around 70 million inflators are expected to be recalled in the U.S. by the end of 2020 and up to 100 million around the world.
The defective airbags in Wednesday's recall were reportedly produced by Takata between the years 1995 and 1999. To see whether a car is included in the recall, owners can go to the NHTSA's website or call the vehicle's safety hotline on 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153).