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Honda Motor Co. said on Wednesday that it would expand to all 50 states a recall of autos equipped with defective driver's side air bags made by Japan's Takata Corp. and linked to at least five deaths. And a top regulator said Chrysler Group has informally told regulators it will expand its recall of vehicles with Takata passenger-side air bags.
The Honda announcement came as Takata, automakers and the nation's auto safety watchdog appeared before a House subcommittee to testify about the faulty air bags. The recall currently covers about 8 million vehicles from 10 manufacturers in the U.S., and 14 million worldwide. Under certain conditions, the air bags can expand with too much force, spewing shrapnel at passengers. The recall has been limited, until now, to regions with high humidity such as Florida, Hawaii and along the Gulf Coast. Takata has so far stonewalled a demand from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to broaden the recall nationwide based on air bag inflator ruptures outside the recall regions. Rick Schosteck, Honda's executive vice president for North America, told House lawmakers that Honda will expand the regional recall it began in June, but will continue to prioritize high-humidity areas.
NHTSA last week asked Chrysler to expand its recall to coastal areas of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, as well as southern Georgia, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa. David Friedman, NHTSA deputy director, said he was awaiting a formal submission.
-- NBC News staff and CNBC