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Posted: May 20, 2015

5 things you need to know about the Takata air bag recall

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By Cox Media Group National Content Desk

WASHINGTON —

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Takata Corp. has declared nearly 34 million air bags defective in the nation's largest-ever auto recall, The Associated Press reported Tuesday. Here's what you need to know:

1. What does the recall include? An agreement announced Tuesday added more than 18 million air bags to existing recalls of driver's-side and passenger-side air bags, according to the AP. The recall of passenger-side air bags was expanded by 10.2 million vehicles, and 7.9 million vehicles were added to the recall of driver's-side air bags. Automakers that use the air bags include BMW, Fiat, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota and Daimler Trucks, KIRO-TV reports. Honda has been hit hardest. 

2. Why are the air bags being recalled? The air bags reportedly have been found to explode forcefully at times, potentially shooting shrapnel and other debris through the vehicle, according to KIRO-TV.

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3. Has anyone been hurt or killed? The air bags have been linked to at least six deaths and more than 100 injuries, the AP reports.

4. How can I determine whether my car is affected? Head to https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/. You will need to enter your VIN, a number stamped on the dashboard near the driver's side windshield. You also can check your automaker's website, contact your dealer or call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236. Unfortunately, it could take weeks before all the identification numbers are entered into the database, KIRO-TV reports.

5. What do I do if my car is included? Make an appointment with your dealership as soon as possible. Some experts believe it could take weeks or months for dealers to get all the replacement air bags they need.

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