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Honda recalls 1.6 million vehicles over Takata airbags

Honda is recalling 1.6 million vehicles in the last phase of its efforts to replace potentially deadly Takata airbags, the company announced Friday.

The recall affects Honda and Acura automobiles in the United States.

Honda urged owners of affected vehicles to seek free replacements immediately at authorized dealers.

Honda is ahead of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s schedule for replacing the Takata airbag inflators, the car-maker said in a statement. Honda said it has made “significant progress with existing recall repairs,” with an 83 percent completion rate. The company has enough replacement parts, all from alternative suppliers, to repair affected Acura and Honda models, it said.

The airbag issue led Takata to file for bankruptcy in June 2017.

Honda in March confirmed 14 deaths and more than 200 injuries in the US related to Takata airbag driver’s front inflator ruptures. Another company’s vehicles were involved in two other US fatalities, Honda said.

A chemical drying agent used in the inflators could cause airbags to rupture, Takata said. Upon bursting, some Takata airbags caused shrapnel to explode forward into passengers and drivers, injuring or killing some.

The faulty inflators resulted in the recall of tens of millions of vehicles worldwide. It was the largest automotive recall in US history, with some 37 million cars in the US from 19 automakers affected.

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