More scrutiny for Japanese maker of defective air bags

Today the government urged still more owners of vehicles with potentially deadly airbags to bring them in immediately for repair. 3 million more vehicles were added to the list, bringing the total to 7.8 million.

Also today, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Japanese maker of the defective airbags, Takata, is being targeted by federal prosecutors.

It seemed to be a minor accident in Florida involving a 2006 Dodge Charger. But when the airbag went off, it exploded, sending shrapnel into the driver's leg.

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Airbags made by the Takata company are being blamed for several deaths and dozens of injuries.
CBS News

This car had a Takata airbag, but the vehicle is not on a recall list.

"The only difference between this piece of shrapnel shooting him in the leg and in the heart were inches. It was just a small difference, and luck," said Jason Turchin, who represented the victim.

Flying metal from Takata airbags has been linked to at least four deaths and 30 injuries.

The airbags contain a canister filled with a chemical propellant. In an accident, the propellant explodes with excessive force, rupturing the metal canister, sending shrapnel out.

So far, the recalls have mostly been in southern states -- because Takata believes humidity increases the force of the propellant.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was first alerted to this problem in 2008.

Now a growing chorus of legislators is asking why more isn't being done.

"I have no patience for federal regulators not being entirely up front forward leaning and aggressive to stop these defective products," said Florida Sen. Bill Nelson.

Chrysler settled that case in Florida and told us tonight they're investigating the performance of certain airbag inflators. Takata told us previously "one accident is one too many," but no new statement from Takata tonight.

The NHTSA released an updated advisory Tuesday night with a new list of the vehicles being recalled:

BMW: 627,615 total number of potentially affected vehicles:

2000 - 2005 3 Series Sedan2000 - 2006 3 Series Coupe2000 - 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon2000 - 2006 3 Series Convertible2001 - 2006 M3 Coupe2001 - 2006 M3 Convertible

Chrysler: 371,309 total number of potentially affected vehicles:

2003 - 2008 Dodge Ram 15002005 - 2008 Dodge Ram 25002006 - 2008 Dodge Ram 35002006 - 2008 Dodge Ram 45002008 - Dodge Ram 55002005 - 2008 Dodge Durango2005 - 2008 Dodge Dakota2005 - 2008 Chrysler 3002007 - 2008 Chrysler Aspen

Ford: 58,669 total number of potentially affected vehicles:

2004 - Ranger2005 - 2006 GT2005 - 2007 Mustang

General Motors: undetermined total number of potentially affected vehicles

2003 - 2005 Pontiac Vibe2005 - Saab 9-2X

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

2001 - 2007 Honda Accord2001 - 2005 Honda Civic2002 - 2006 Honda CR-V2003 - 2011 Honda Element2002 - 2004 Honda Odyssey2003 - 2007 Honda Pilot2006 - Honda Ridgeline2003 - 2006 Acura MDX2002 - 2003 Acura TL/CL2005 - Acura RL

Mazda: 64,872 total number of potentially affected vehicles:

2003 - 2007 Mazda62006 - 2007 MazdaSpeed62004 - 2008 Mazda RX-82004 - 2005 MPV2004 - B-Series Truck

Mitsubishi: 11,985 total number of potentially affected vehicles:

2004 - 2005 Lancer2006 - 2007 Raider

Nissan: 694,626 total number of potentially affected vehicles:

2001 - 2003 Nissan Maxima2001 - 2004 Nissan Pathfinder2002 - 2004 Nissan Sentra2001 - 2004 Infiniti I30/I352002 - 2003 Infiniti QX42003 - 2005 Infiniti FX35/FX45

Subaru: 17,516 total number of potentially affected vehicles:

2003 - 2005 Baja2003 - 2005 Legacy2003 - 2005 Outback2003 - 2005 Baja2004 - 2005 Impreza

Toyota: 877,000 total number of potentially affected vehicles:

2002 - 2005 Lexus SC2002 - 2005 Toyota Corolla2003 - 2005 Toyota Corolla Matrix2002 - 2005 Toyota Sequoia2003 - 2005 Toyota Tundra