Three Takata Corp. executives were charged in the U.S. as part of a criminal probe to mislead federal regulators, consumers and car manufacturers about its faulty air bags.

Shinichi Tanaka, Hideo Nakajima and Tsuneo Chikaraishi were indicted in federal court in Michigan, according to court records. The charges came just hours before prosecutors are expected to announce that Takata has agreed to plead guilty to a scheme that led to the biggest recall in history. A press conference in Detroit is scheduled for later Friday.

There are 46 million recalled Takata air bag inflators in 29 million vehicles in the U.S. alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. More recalls are coming over the next three years, affecting as many as 69 million inflators in 42 million vehicles, the agency said.

Toyota Motor Corp. announced Friday that it is recalling another 543,000 vehicles in the U.S. for defective front passenger air bag inflators made by Takata.

Toyota said the recall includes various models of sedans and SUVs made between 2006-2012. Among those recalled are the 2008-2009 Scion xB; 2009 and 2012 Corolla and Corolla Matrix, 2007-2009 and 2012 Toyota Yaris, 2012 4Runner and Sienna and various versions of Lexus made between 2006-2012.

Takata uses the chemical ammonium nitrate to cause a small explosion designed to inflate the air bags in a crash. At least 16 people have been killed worldwide and about 180 have been injured by the explosions that can spew metal shrapnel inside the vehicles.

Because of the scope of the recalls, the replacements are going to take years.

The three Takata executives knew that the inflators had experienced failures including ruptures during testing from about 2000, and routinely discussed fabricating test results, removing unfavorable information – known as “XX-ing” the data – and manipulating the reports, according to the indictment.

They’re accused in the indictment of withholding information and data about the faulty airbags from other manufacturers after the equipment began experiencing repeated problems around 2008.

They conspired to enrich the company and themselves by inducing carmakers to buy airbags that contained “faulty, inferior, non-performing, non-compliant, or dangerous inflators” by issuing false reports and other information that hid the inflators’ true condition, according to the court filing.

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