The US government is urging owners of 313,000 older Hondas and Acuras to stop driving them and get them repaired after new tests found that their Takata air bag inflators are extremely dangerous, the AP reports. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Thursday that it has data showing that chances are as high as 50% that the inflators can explode in a crash, injuring people with metal shrapnel. "Folks should not drive these vehicles unless they are going straight to a dealer to have them repaired," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. And Florida's Sen. Bill Nelson, a frequent critic of the auto industry, calls the vehicles equipped with Takata air bags "deathtraps."
At least 11 people have died and more than 100 have been injured worldwide from the problem. Authorities in Malaysia are investigating three more deaths that may be linked to the inflators. The NHTSA's urgent advisory covers vehicles that are up to 16 years old, including 2001 and 2002 Honda Civics and Accords, the 2002 and 2003 Acura TL, the 2002 Honda Odyssey and CR-V, and the 2003 Acura CL and Honda Pilot. About 70% of them already have been repaired, the agency said. Honda said it has ample replacement parts available from companies other than Takata to immediately fix the cars.