WASHINGTON — U.S. auto safety regulators have stepped up a long-running investigation into potentially defective airbag inflators that can cause metal fragments to strike vehicle occupants, saying it required supplier ARC Automotive Inc. to answer questions.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in May demanded the recall of 67 million air bag inflators produced by ARC because they could project metal fragments into vehicle occupants. ARC rejected the request.
NHTSA's special order made public Thursday requires the company to answer written questions under oath and provide documents by June 14.
ARC inflators are installed in vehicles made by General Motors, Chrysler-parent Stellantis, BMW, Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Corp. vehicles, among other automakers. GM recalled 1.03 million vehicles with ARC airbag inflators in May after a rupture resulted in facial injuries to a driver.