Federal regulators on Friday confirmed that a 10 death was caused by defective Takata air bags, and ordered a recall of 5 million more vehicles.
"This is a massive safety crisis," National Highway Traffic Safety Administration spokesman Gordon Trowbridge told reporters.
The death in a crash in South Carolina in late December is the ninth in the U.S. confirmed to be linked to the air bags, and the 10th death globally, Trowbridge said.
The defective airbags can inflate with explosive force in collisions, spraying shrapnel into vehicle cabins.
On Friday the NHTSA recalled 5 million vehicles with the faulty driver’s side airbags — including vehicles made by Mazda, Ford Audi and Volkswagen. The recall adds to the around 23 million inflators recalled in 19 million vehicles in the U.S.
It isn't clear how many of the vehicles subject to the new recall had been already recalled for problems with other air bags.
The recalls announced Friday include around 1 million vehicles with SDI driver’s side inflators, and 4 million with PSDI-5 driver’s side inflators.
The recall of the PSDI-5 driver's side inflators was precipitated by Takata's reporting of results of testing involving the ruptures of three driver's-side inflators in Toyota Rav4 vehicles — all in Florida and all recovered as part of the existing recalls for passenger-side inflators.