WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Automakers affected by the Takata air bag inflator recall have loaded the ID numbers of millions of recalled vehicles into a searchable system, allowing consumers and government officials to examine the data, U.S. safety regulators said on Wednesday.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it will begin combing through the filings of 11 automakers to see how their Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) match with information provided earlier by Takata Corp <7312.T>. Regulators believe 34 million vehicles could be affected.
"We’ll revise that number if necessary," NHTSA spokesman Gordon Trowbridge said.
The availability of the VIN data allows consumers to search NHTSA's Safercar.gov website to determine whether their own vehicles are subject to a recall of airbag inflators linked to at least seven deaths and hundreds of injuries. The inflators can rupture, spraying shrapnel into passenger compartments.
All of the deaths have occurred in vehicles manufactured by Honda Motor Co Ltd <7267.T>.
A Reuters analysis of recall records submitted to the U.S. auto safety watchdog found that the number of U.S. vehicles appears to be less than 34 million. About 17.6 million vehicles might have one or two defective air bags, the analysis showed. How many times those vehicles might have to be repaired is unclear.
(Reporting by David Morgan. Editing by Andre Grenon)