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What do I need to know about the Takata air bag recall?

If you drive a car in Georgia, you need to be concerned about whether it's affected by the recall issued by Takata Corp. It covers some 34 million vehicles made by 11 different car manufacturers. It's the largest recall in U.S. history and it involves defective air bags that can prove to be deadly to occupants of cars that become involved in any sort of collision that triggers air bag inflation.

The problem is that the inflation systems in some Takata bags, especially those that have been exposed to high humidity conditions for a long time, can become unstable. If that happens, and they are activated, the explosive inflation could send metal shrapnel into the passenger compartment. So here are some of the key things that officials say consumers need to know.

There is a broad array of vehicles covered by the recall. Automakers using Takata air bags include BMW, Toyota, Fiat, Subaru, Chrysler, Nissan, Ford, Mitsubishi, General Motors, Mazda and Honda. According to some reports, there may also be some Daimler trucks affected.

Six people have been killed as a result of the defective air bags and the Associated Press says most of the deaths have occurred in the United States. At least 100 other people have been injured as a result of defective bags.

Early warnings about the faulty products indicated that only driver-side air bags were of concern, but it has since been learned that passenger-side bags could be affected, as well.

If you haven't been informed already that your vehicle is affected by the recall, you can do a search the federal government's safercar.gov website and plug in your car's vehicle identification number. It's reportedly taking some weeks for all the VIN numbers to be loaded up, so you might need to check back again.

If your car is covered by the recall, officials say you should work with an area dealer to get a free replacement as soon as possible. However, they note that it could take a long time to get needed parts.

Anyone who has been hurt in a car crash or lost a loved one, whether it is due to a driver's negligence or a defective auto part, should not delay in getting in touch with an attorney to determine what legal options for seeking compensation.

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