Washington — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said late Tuesday it was expanding its alert of faulty air bags that could explode or expel shrapnel to 7.8 million vehicles from 10 major automakers.

NHTSA said it was adding Ford Motor Co.; Chrysler Group LLC; Mitsubishi Motor Co.; and Subaru, a unit of Fuji Heavy Industries, to the recall.

On Monday, NHTSA took the unusual step of urging owners of 4.7 million vehicles at six major automakers to act immediately as Toyota Motor Corp. announced it was recalling 247,000 vehicles in humid areas and warned that drivers shouldn't use the vehicles until they were serviced by a dealer.

Worldwide, 11 automakers have recalled more than 16 million vehicles for defective air bags made by Japanese supplier Takata Corp. The new, urgent warning covers vehicles recalled over the last 18 months. At least two deaths have been linked to faulty Honda air bags and two others are under investigation, including the Oct. 2 death of a 51-year-old Florida driver.

In the expanded alert, 5.1 million are Hondas. NHTSA's new numbers also include BMW, GM, Toyota, Mazda and Nissan models.

NHTSA still is investigating whether automakers should recall more vehicles that have air bags that could be faulty.

"The message comes with urgency, especially for owners of vehicles affected by regional recalls in the following areas: Florida, Puerto Rico, limited areas near the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Louisiana, as well as Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Virgin Islands and Hawaii," NHTSA said.

"Responding to these recalls, whether old or new, is essential to personal safety and it will help aid our ongoing investigation into Takata air bags and what appears to be a problem related to extended exposure to consistently high humidity and temperatures. However, we're leaving no stone unturned in our aggressive pursuit to track down the full geographic scope of this issue," said NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman.

Consumers can contact their manufacturer's website to search, by vehicle identification number, for an open recall. Owners who have been contacted by their manufacturer should contact their dealer's service department and make arrangements for the repair. In addition, consumers can sign up for NHTSA recall alerts, which go out before recall letters are mailed by the manufacturers to the affected owners.

NHTSA's recall website experienced trouble Tuesday as consumers flooded the site to see if their vehicles were impacted. A spokeswoman said the website issues were being addressed. The site wasn't working late Tuesday.

NHTSA said Monday's list "incorrectly included certain vehicles and excluded others. The numbers cited for potentially affected vehicles ... are subject to change and adjustment because there may be cases of vehicles being counted more than once."

On Monday, NHTSA had said the alert covered 133,000 2002-03 GM models. Its Tuesday alert corrected that to say it did not apply to those GM vehicles, but applied to 2003-05 Pontiac Vibes and 2005 Saab 92Xs.

DShepardson@detroitnews.com

Here is the updated list from NHTSA

BMW: 627,615 total number of potentially affected vehicles

2000 – 2005 3 Series Sedan

2000 – 2006 3 Series Coupe

2000 – 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon

2000 – 2006 3 Series Convertible

2001 – 2006 M3 Coupe

2001 – 2006 M3 Convertible

Chrysler: 371,309 total number of potentially affected vehicles

2003 – 2008 Dodge Ram 1500

2005 – 2008 Dodge Ram 2500

2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 3500

2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 4500

2008 – Dodge Ram 5500

2005 – 2008 Dodge Durango

2005 – 2008 Dodge Dakota

2005 – 2008 Chrysler 300

2007 – 2008 Chrysler Aspen

Ford: 58,669 total number of potentially affected vehicles

2004 – Ranger

2005 – 2006 GT

2005 – 2007 Mustang

General Motors: undetermined total number of potentially affected vehicles

2003 – 2005 Pontiac Vibe

2005 – Saab 9-2X

Honda: 5,051,364 total number of potentially affected vehicles

2001 – 2007 Honda Accord

2001 – 2005 Honda Civic

2002 – 2006 Honda CR-V

2003 – 2011 Honda Element

2002 – 2004 Honda Odyssey

2003 – 2007 Honda Pilot

2006 – Honda Ridgeline

2003 – 2006 Acura MDX

2002 – 2003 Acura TL/CL

2005 – Acura RL

Mazda: 64,872 total number of potentially affected vehicles

2003 – 2007 Mazda6

2006 – 2007 MazdaSpeed6

2004 – 2008 Mazda RX-8

2004 – 2005 MPV

2004 – B-Series Truck

Mitsubishi: 11,985 total number of potentially affected vehicles

2004 – 2005 Lancer

2006 – 2007 Raider

Nissan: 694,626 total number of potentially affected vehicles

2001 – 2003 Nissan Maxima

2001 – 2004 Nissan Pathfinder

2002 – 2004 Nissan Sentra

2001 – 2004 Infiniti I30/I35

2002 – 2003 Infiniti QX4

2003 – 2005 Infiniti FX35/FX45

Subaru: 17,516 total number of potentially affected vehicles

2003 – 2005 Baja

2003 – 2005 Legacy

2003 – 2005 Outback

2003 – 2005 Baja

2004 – 2005 Impreza

Toyota: 877,000 total number of potentially affected vehicles

2002 – 2005 Lexus SC

2002 – 2005 Toyota Corolla

2003 – 2005 Toyota Corolla Matrix

2002 – 2005 Toyota Sequoia

2003 – 2005 Toyota Tundra

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