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Australia orders recall of further 1.1 million cars fitted with Takata air bags

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Australia orders recall of further 1.1 million cars fitted with Takata air bags
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SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia on Monday increased the size of its biggest compulsory product recall as it said an additional 1.1 million cars fitted with Takata Corp <TKTDQ.PK> air bags would be recalled.

Australia earlier this year demanded that manufacturers of nearly 3 million vehicles that carried the air bags, linked to at least 18 deaths and 180 injuries globally because the inflators can rupture and shoot metal fragments into vehicles, pay for replacements.

The air bags must be replaced by Dec. 31, 2020, or the manufacturers will face fines of A$1.1 million (644,021.94 pounds) per breach of the order.

Once complete, the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission said vehicles from manufactures including Audi <NSUG.DE>, Ford <F.N>, Volkswagen <VOWG_p.DE> and Toyota <7203.T> would be recalled at a later, unspecified date.

Pressure is growing on manufacturers globally to meet recall timetables.

The U.S. auto safety agency said earlier this month it wanted to meet with 12 major automakers that failed to fulfil a December 2017 target deadline for completing repairs on the highest-priority vehicles with dangerous Takata air bag inflators.

In June 2017, Takata filed for bankruptcy as it sought court protection from creditors after almost a decade of recalls and lawsuits.

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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