Major automakers are recalling millions of vehicles due to potentially defective front passenger air-bag inflators that can rupture and spray metal shrapnel. (Reuters)

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put out a recall notice Monday for defective air bags and urged people whose cars are equipped with them to take action immediately.

More than 4.7 million vehicles are involved in the recall. At least four people have died when inflator mechanisms ruptured on the air bags, spraying the passengers with metal fragments.

NHTSA warned drivers whose cars have been recalled as a result of faulty inflators to take them to the dealer immediately. Safety experts said about 12 million vehicles worldwide have been recalled.

The air bags are made by Takata and are in place in some Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan and General Motors models. NHTSA said it was particularly urgent for vehicles owners in Florida, Puerto Rico, Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Virgin Islands and Hawaii to take immediate action.

The federal safety agency said car owners uncertain about whether their vehicle is equipped with a Takata airbag can check at www.safercar.gov/. Using the site requires that owners enter their vehicle identification number (VIN).

NHTSA said the affected vehicles by manufacturer are:

Toyota: 778,177 vehicles potentially affected.

2002-2004 Lexus SC, 2003-2004 Toyota Corolla, 2003-2004 Toyota Corolla Matrix, 2002-2004 Toyota Sequoia, 2003-2004 Toyota Tundra, 2003-2004 Pontiac Vibe

Honda: 2,803,214 vehicles potentially affected.

2001-2007 Honda Accord (4 cylinder), 2001-2002 Honda Accord (6 cylinder), 2001-2005 Honda Civic, 2002-2006 Honda CR-V, 2003-2011 Honda Element, 2002-2004 Honda Odyssey, 2003-2007 Honda Pilot, 2006 Honda Ridgeline, 2003-2006 Acura MDX, 2002-2003 Acura TL/CL

Nissan: 437,712 vehicles potentially affected.

2001-2003 Nissan Maxima, 2001-2003 Nissan Pathfinder, 2002-2003 Nissan Sentra, 2001- 2003 Infiniti I30/I35, 2002-2003 Infiniti QX4, 2003 Infiniti FX

Mazda: 18,050 vehicles potentially affected.

2003-2004 Mazda6, 2004 Mazda RX-8

BMW: 573,935 vehicles potentially affected.

2000-2005 3 Series Sedan, 2000-2006 3 Series Coupe, 2000- 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon, 2000-2006 3 Series Convertible, 2001-2006 M3 Coupe, 2001-2006 M3 Convertible

GM: 133,221 vehicles potentially affected.

2002-2003 Buick LeSabre, 2002-2003 Buick Rendezvous, 2002-2003 Cadillac DeVille, 2002-2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer, 2002-2003 Chevrolet Impala, 2002-2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 2002-2003 Chevrolet Venture, 2002-2003 GMC Envoy, 2002-2003 GMC Envoy XL, 2002-2003 Oldsmobile Aurora, 2002-2003 Oldsmobile Bravada, 2002-2003 Oldsmobile Silhouette, 2002-2003 Pontiac Bonneville, 2002-2003 Pontiac Montana