And on it goes, the world’s biggest automotive safety recall caused by Takata’s faulty airbag inflators. In the United States, the Japanese safety system manufacturer has added 3.3 million vehicles to the list, the latest recall impacting a host of models made by different manufacturers in 2009, 2010 and 2013.

Models affected by the recall, which covers the frontal airbags in these units, include that made by Audi, BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Tesla and Toyota.

According to news reports, specific models affected by the exercise will be identified by the respective automakers when the necessary paperwork is filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) later in the month.

The Takata airbag inflator defect issue centres around propellant degradation occurring after prolonged exposure to high humidity and temperatures. The inflators contain a non-desiccated, phase-stabilised ammonium nitrate propellant, which deteriorates over time, potentially causing it to burn too fast when the airbag is inflated.

This can result in the module rupturing and sending metal fragments shooting into the cabin, leading to possible serious injury or death. News reports indicate that at least 20 people have been killed and more than 180 injured globally.

While recalls are being phased over the next three years, older vehicles and those in locations with high humidity and temperatures will be prioritised. In the US, the ongoing saga has seen 19 automakers having had to recall around 69 million inflators in 42 million vehicles.

In January 2017, the company pleaded guilty to criminal wrongdoing and agreed to pay US$1 billion to resolve a US Justice Department investigation into the airbag inflator issue, and in June, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US and for bankruptcy in Japan.

The latest US recall follows on that announced in China last September, in which Volkswagen and its JVs FAW-Volkswagen and SAIC Volkswagen recalled 4.86 million vehicles, while General Motors and its JVs issued one for more than 2.5 million vehicles.