This graphic from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows an airbag expanding, shooting shrapnel toward the driver.

Johannesburg - The “exploding” airbag saga has led to the recall of over 20 million cars across the globe and many South African consumers feel they're in the dark about whether their cars are actually involved.

WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?

Over the past few years it has emerged that certain driver and passenger-side airbags made by Japanese supplier Takata can improperly inflate and rupture on impact, potentially firing deadly shrapnel at occupants.

So far 10 people worldwide are known to have been killed, with 140 injured, while no incidents are known to have taken place in South Africa.

How do airbags actually work?

In a statement released this week, the Automobile Association urged motorists not to panic, but to nonetheless take the safety recall very seriously.

WHICH CARS ARE AFFECTED?

With the local recalls stretching as far back as 2013 and the list still expected to grow, it's impossible to pin-point each and every model fitted with the potentially faulty airbags, however we have compiled a list of the vehicles that have become aware of so far, in recalls announced between 2013 and now.

While many of these recalls should have run their course, some manufacturers have had trouble getting hold of owners so not all affected cars would have been fixed by now. Make sure yours is.

And while you can use the list below as a general guideline, it's still advisable - if you own any car produced by these manufacturers - to double check by contacting them and providing your VIN number.

BMW

3 Series: May 1999 - Aug 2006

HONDA

Accord: 2012 - 2014

Brio: 2003 - 2009

Ballade: 2009 - 2011

Civic: 2001 - 2009

CR-V: 2002 - 2007; 2011

Jazz: 2002 - 2012

Insight: 2010 - 2012

MAZDA

Mazda6: 2003 - 2007

Mazda RX-8: 2003 - 2007

MITSUBISHI

Lancer: 2003 - 2007

NISSAN

Almera: 2004 - 2007

Patrol: 2000 - 2004

X-Trail: 2000 - 2004

TOYOTA

Corolla: 2002 - 2007

RunX: 2003 - 2007

Yaris: 2005 - 2007

Rav4: 2003 - 2005

Hilux: 2003 - 2005

Fortuner: 2003 - 2005

RECALLS TO EXPAND

The recall list is also set to grow, with both Honda and Toyota expected to announce in the coming week that more model-years are affected, although no specific details have been announced yet as dealers are currently being briefed. Stay tuned.

WILL IT COST ANYTHING?

Naturally these recalls will be conducted free of charge and, depending the manufacturer in question, the work should not take much longer than an hour to compete.

WHO TO CONTACT

BMW: 0800 600 555

Honda: 031 000 0473

Mazda: 0860 069 700

Nissan: 0800 647 726

Toyota: 080 013 9111