PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It is the largest automotive recall in American history; 33.8 million vehicles outfitted with airbags made by Takata Corporation.

Rather than save a person in a crash, the faulty airbags can kill. They have been known to explode when they deploy, sending metal shrapnel flying at drivers and passengers.

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The recall has been so massive, Takata is struggling to supply replacement parts.

Customers around the nation, including in Pittsburgh, are receiving letters explaining that parts won’t be available for weeks, if not months.

“People are riding around in a car that’s a ticking time bomb,” said Rosemary Shahan, of Consumers For Auto Reliability and Safety.

Honda dealerships are offering customers a rental car to drive in the meantime.

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“That’s a very positive thing that Honda is doing, offering loaner cars and we’re definitely encouraging consumers to take them up on that offer 100 percent,” Shahan said.

Subaru has sent letters to car owners instructing them not to have anyone ride in the passenger side until repairs are made.

BMW recently informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it did not have enough replacement parts and could not meet its deadline at the end of march.

The government is now giving BMW until the end of August.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration acknowledges the slow progress of the recall response and says it is working with carmakers to increase recall completion rates.

It’s been almost a year since the recall was first announced.

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For more information, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website here.