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NHTSA presses automakers to make Takata airbag recall plans public

A recalled Takata airbag inflator being removed from a Jeep in Boulder, Colo., on July 20, 2017. Photo credit: REUTERS

WASHINGTON -- Federal auto safety regulators want automakers to make public plans for how they'll replace millions of defective Takata Corp. airbag parts that should have been fixed already.

A dozen automakers including BMW AG, Ford Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. missed a Dec. 31, 2017 deadline to fix 19.4 million defective airbags that regulators deemed to be most at risk of a ruptured inflator, a defect linked to more than 20 deaths worldwide.

About 6.2 million of those airbags remained on the street as of early June, according to data on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website.

NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King says the public disclosure will help community groups and other interested stakeholders conduct local outreach to help get more drivers to dealerships for repairs.

"Because of the immediate life-threatening nature of the Takata air bags," King said, "we think it's important to do so."

King told automakers to accelerate their airbag repairs in meetings recently, according to NHTSA. The agency wants the automakers to post their recall plans online.

You can reach Ryan Beene at autonews@crain.com

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