Takata, one of the biggest names in the manufacturing and distribution of automotive airbags, has announced it is expanding its recent recall, nearly doubling the number of faulty bags from 18 million to 34 million.

The company, which for years has denied any problems with its products, has now done a complete 360, admitting there are “design and components” flaws, to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

So far 5 deaths and more than 100 injuries have been linked to these flaws, which can cause the bags to  explode violently when deployed, sending shrapnel flying into a car’s passenger compartment.

What’s causing the issue is still not known at this time, although Takata initially blamed humidity as the cause of the issue.

A majority of the affected cars are Hondas, but a dozen other car models, including Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota, BMW and others built between 2000 and 2011, are also affected.

To find out if your car is being recalled, go to the specially made Takata Recall Website, which was created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and enter your car’s VIN (vehichle identification number).

Your car’s VIN can be found on your registration or a plate visible on the windshield of the car.

Please note that at this time the number of cars affected is still being investigated, so if your car is not on the list you should check back in a few weeks to double check.

If your car is affected you can go to a dealership that makes your model car to get it replaced; even if it’s not the actual dealer that sold you your car, they should still be able to help.

If your car is a discontinued brand, like a Pontaic, then any GM dealer, like Buick, should be able to help you.

If your car is affected and you are waiting on parts DO NOT disconnect the airbags- it is illegal and they do save lives.

According to a report by NBC’s Today show if you have to wait you should go to your dealer  and see about getting a loaner car until the replacement parts come in.

Takata has had issues with its airbags dating back to 2000, but it is only in recent years, since the appointment of Mark Rosekind as the new administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, that the issue has been thoroughly investigated and the company been made to be held accountable.

Rosekind admits it will be a long process to get everything in order and make sure all the affected vehicles are safe.

This recall is one of the biggest consumer product recalls ever and the biggest auto recall to date.

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