If you were hoping to look up whether your car is one of the millions that have been recalled because of potentially deadly air bag problems, you're out of luck: The government search site crashed Tuesday morning and remained out of commission late Tuesday night.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration added more U.S. vehicles Tuesday night to its list of affected models, which it put at almost 8 million. It urged U.S. drivers to "act immediately" to find out whether their vehicles came equipped with the faulty air bags, which have been blamed for at least four deaths worldwide.
Because it can take some time for recall letters to arrive in the mail, the agency urged drivers to check for their vehicle identification numbers at safercar.gov/vinlookup. But by 9 a.m. ET Tuesday, anyone trying the site was met with a message saying: "Sorry, the page you requested could not be found." The agency said Tuesday that "intermittent network issues" meant the tool — as well as other recall-related functions of SaferCar.gov — were unavailable, and it gave no timetable for their restoration.
The air bags, made by Takata Corp., have been reported to explode and rupture, flinging metal shrapnel into the vehicle interiors. In the U.S., affected vehicles were sold by BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota since 2002.
— M. Alex Johnson