Ford has expanded a recall for vehicles equipped with potentially faulty Takata driver-side air bags to 502,500 vehicles, a jump from the earlier campaign for only around 55,000 older-model Mustangs.
The air bags have faulty inflators that can cause an explosion, sending shrapnel flying at the vehicle's occupants in the event of a crash. The issue has been related to at least five deaths, none of which have occurred in Ford vehicles; however, Ford is aware of one accident with an injury that may be related to the faulty air bags, according to Reuters.
After the expansion, the Takata-related Ford recall affects 500,439 Mustangs from model years 2005-'08 and 2,050 of the Ford GT sports car from model years 2005 and 2006.
Of those vehicles, 463,000 are registered in the United States and federalized territories, around 27,500 are in Canada, about 7,600 in Mexico and about 4,500 outside North America, Reuters reported.
In a record year of recalls, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been pressuring automakers along with manufacturer Takata to recall vehicles equipped with the possibly explosive air bags nationwide.
Carmakers previously limited the safety campaigns to areas with high humidity, which seems to exacerbate the air bags' inflator problems.
Ford is additionally recalling select models equipped with Takata passenger-side air bags, which bring the total figure to 538,977 Ford vehicles.
Almost 60 million vehicles have been recalled in the U.S. this year as the NHTSA cracks down on automakers following the devastating General Motors' ignition switch recall. Passing the 2004 record of 30.8 million recalled vehicles, this year's number means nearly one out of every four cars in the U.S. has been called back for repairs.