Japanese air-bag maker Takata now says that 34 million vehicles in the US are potentially defective, a declaration that brings with it two unwanted milestones: It easily will lead to the biggest recall ever in the auto industry and it's on track to overtake the 31 million bottles of Tylenol recalled in 1982 as the biggest consumer recall of any kind, reports the Detroit News. (Further testing could reduce the figure of 34 million, notes the New York Times.) Takata finally gave in to pressure from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the air bags, which have been linked to six deaths and more than 100 injuries. It might take a few days for the exact models affected to be announced.
The bags can explode with so much force that those hit look like stab victims, reports CNN. About 17 million vehicles already have been recalled over the defect. It's not clear what's causing the problem, but high humidity has been suggested as a factor. The company is filing four defect reports with US regulators today that encompass cars made by BMW AG, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, and Daimler Trucks. The next step will be for automakers to review the findings and make the necessary repairs.