Daimler AG announced Tuesday that it was recalling 840,000 vehicles in the United States — including more than 700,000 Mercedes-Benz models — because they're outfitted with air bags made by Takata Corp., which can explode with deadly force.
In addition to about 705,000 Mercedes-Benzes, the German automaker said it's also recalling about 136,000 Daimler vans. It said the recall, which it called "precautionary," will cost the company almost $400 million.
The defect, which can cause air bags to overinflate and shoot shrapnel into the passenger compartment, has been blamed in at least 10 U.S. deaths and forced the recall of more than 20 million vehicles in the United States alone.
Last June, a staff report from Democrats on the Senate Commerce Committee disclosed company emails that showed that Takata stopped safety audits of problems with its air bags as early as 2009 because they were too expensive.
Takata Chairman Shigehisa Takada, grandson of the Japanese company's founder, formally apologized for the defect last year. The company said late last month that he has no intention of resigning despite the long-running crisis.