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Nissan expands recalls over possibly deadly airbag failures

WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) -- Nissan Motor Corp. is expanding a recall in high-humidity regions of cars and SUVs suspected of having defective airbag inflators that can shoot metal shrapnel at passengers.

The recall now affects almost 53,000 models in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, as well as Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Saturday on its website.

About 30,000 of those vehicles were covered by previous actions.

The latest recall follows NHTSA's call last month for motorists to quickly fix Honda Motor Co. cars in high-humidity states because of a similar issue. Airbags made by Takata Corp. have been linked to four deaths involving defective inflators.

The Nissan recall affects 2003-04 Pathfinder, 2004-06 Sentra, 2003-05 Infiniti FX35 and FX45, 2003-04 Infiniti I35, and 2006 Infiniti M35 and M45 vehicles, according to the statement.

Nissan will notify owners, and dealers will replace the passenger air-bag inflator without charge.

NHTSA also disclosed Saturday that it's begun a preliminary evaluation of Nissan's 2008 Infiniti EX35 SUVs because of two complaints that the steering shaft may separate while operating the vehicle, resulting in a loss of steering control.

About 17,000 SUVs potentially could be affected, the agency reported on its website.

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