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85 million Takata airbag inflators could still face recall

Thus far, 28.8 million of the Japanese company's inflators have been recalled in the US.

Takata Airbag Inflator
A technician holds a recalled Takata airbag inflator from a Honda Pilot.
Joe Skipper/Reuters/Corbis

Nearly a dozen deaths worldwide have been linked to faulty airbag inflators from Japanese auto parts manufacturer Takata, which may explode in a cloud of shrapnel instead of inflating the airbag properly. So far, the US has recalled 28.8 million parts to prevent additional injuries or fatalities, but approximately 85 million inflators have not yet been recalled -- but they might.

US regulators are mulling recalling the remaining 85-ish million inflators, Reuters reports, unless Takata can prove that the parts are safe. Its inflator failures have been linked to moisture intrusion and a lack of safeguards to prevent said intrusion. Takata declined to comment.

Any additional recalls would likely leave a strong financial impression on the company. Previously, Takata estimated that a worst-case recall scenario would cost about $24 billion, which is well in excess of its revenues from the last fiscal year. If those remaining parts are recalled, that's about as worst-case as it gets.

Takata still has time to get its ducks in a row. Reuters claims the company has a deadline of 2019 to prove the safety of its inflators.