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Air bag recall: 1 in 34 million odds good enough to warrant worry

Do you play Powerball? The odds of winning are one in 175 million. That's according to the Multi-State Lottery Association. Even the odds of winning a smaller sum, say $1 million, are one in 5 million.

Despite the high odds a lot of people in Texas do play. And sometimes they even win. At $2 a chance it might be worth it. But what if you had to bet your life on it? Would you? Right now there are some 34 million vehicles on U.S. roads that have defective Takata air bags in them. 

If one of them gets into an accident severe enough to trigger air bag deployment there's at least some chance that the people riding in the vehicle could suffer severe injury or even death. That's because when they go off, they may explode with such force that they shatter a metal container and send shrapnel into the passenger compartment.

The defective bags are blamed for at least six deaths -- most of them in the United States. More than 100 other people have been injured. Takata Corp. purportedly knew about the defect as early as 2004. But the firm allegedly opted not to act on the information.

The air bags are now under recall and 34 million vehicles are said to be affected. That means all those bags need to be replaced. But because of production challenges, it's expected that the recall won't be completed for at least two years. Some suggest it could take as long as five years.

Most people have not fallen victim to one of these defective auto products. And while the odds might seem high, it has to be conceded that there's a chance that an affected vehicle could be involved in an accident sometime in the next two to five years. Anyone who has suffered injury or loss due to defective products have a right to seek compensation and should be contacting an attorney to explore their options for recovery.

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