US regulator wants to speed up Takata airbag recall

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The US regulatory agency in charge of traffic safety will look to speed up the massive recall of 19 million cars carrying defective airbags manufactured by Japanese company Takata.

“Our goal is a safe airbag in every American vehicle as quickly as possible,” Mark Rosekind, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said Thursday in Washington.

According to the agency, at least eight people have been killed and 98 injured by Takata’s defective airbags, which can “rupture explosively” and spray metal fragments at drivers and passengers when they deploy.

Federal regulators are to determine by the end of November what authority they have to speed up the largest-ever recall in the United States. At least 12 carmakers are involved, making the recall process unprecedented in its complexity, Rosekind said.

Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Mazda, Honda and BMW account for 14 million of the cars being recalled.

NHTSA, which has not ruled out a wider recall, began its investigation of Takata in 2014. In February the US government fined Takata 14,000 dollars a day for failing to cooperate with the probe and failing to provide documentation and other materials.

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