US safety regulators expand airbag recall to nearly 8 million vehicles

Thursday, October 23, 2014
Air bags generic image
Airbags in a 2014 Ford Explorer show where paint, that is applied to the face of a full-scale anthropomorphic test device, transferred to the airbag during a crash test.
AP Photo/Duane Burleson-AP

Drivers across the country are on edge, calling their dealerships to try and find out if they need to replace dangerous airbags.

Confusion began when government officials added three million cars to the recall list. That makes nearly eight million vehicles with a potentially dangerous airbag.

The problem is the inflators can explode and send metal shards flying through the car. The defect is linked to at least four deaths and several injuries.

"This is about as severe as it gets," said Sean Kane, founder and president of Safety Research & Strategies. "When you have an airbag that's designed to protect you that can explode into shrapnel and kill you, this is a very extreme situation."

The cars under recall include some made by Honda, Toyota, Nissan, GM, and Ford.

Check with your dealer to see if you are affected.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website that lets you search by VIN number was down on Thursday, but should be restored soon.

List of recalls from NHTSA

Search for recall by VIN

Toyota recalls

Ford recalls