The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has revised downward the number of recalled U.S. vehicles with defective Takata air bag inflators to 19.2 million from an estimated 30 million, according to the federal safety agency.
NHTSA earlier had cited 34 million defective inflators in 30 million U.S. vehicles, but the figures were revised in part to double-counting. The official said the numbers could continue to be revised.
Defective Takata air bags have been linked to at least eight deaths worldwide and more than 100 injuries. The air bags can explode when activated and send metal shrapnel at drivers and passengers.
The official said Tuesday that 4.4 million of 23.4 million defective Takata inflators in the U.S. have been fixed, though some may need another, more permanent fix. About 4 million vehicles included in the recall have both defective driver and passenger air bags, NHTSA says.
The agency continues to investigate and may consider a U.S. recall following a rupture of a Takata seat-mounted side air bag inflator in a 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan in Missouri that occurred in June.
General Motors Co. also recalled 334 2015 model year Chevrolet Malibus sold outside the U.S. because the front-seat side-impact air bag inflator may separate during a deployment and send pieces of the inflator and components at vehicle occupants.
GM said its recall of vehicles sold in Korea, Kuwait, Oman, Lebanon and Singapore stemmed after routine testing by Takata. GM and NHTSA says none of the vehicles were sold in the U.S.
Volkswagen said it was working with Takata to investigate the issue, which happened after the driver hit a deer. The German automaker said the driver did not seek any medical help.
Last month, U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., called for recalls of all vehicles with Takata air bags.
NHTSA said it also plans to hold a public event on the Takata air bag recall this fall that could lay out a coordinated effort for repairing the air bags. It may include prioritizing the highest risks and allocating supply based on that, such as in high humidity states first.
Globally, the Takata Corp. air bag recall includes up to 33.8 million vehicles by 11 automakers.
NHTSA said it has not determined a cause for the explosions, but continues its testing. NHTSA says the investigation into a possible enforcement action against Takata continues.
Federal prosecutors in Detroit also are leading a criminal investigation into Takata’s air bag defects.
Owners of cars can find information on the Takata recall at NHTSA’s website. They can type in Vehicle Identification Numbers to learn if their vehicles are part of the recalls, and review frequently asked questions. Go to www.safercar.gov/rs/takata/index.html.