General Motors (GM) has asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to push back by one year the recall of about 980,000 cars with the Takata air bags. GM claims that the air bags don’t pose an unreasonable risk. A petition filed by GM requested that NHTSA slow down the recall, which is currently set to begin on Dec. 31, and delay it until the end of 2017. The agency’s recall of the Takata air bag inflators – which are linked to at least 10 deaths in the U.S and four others worldwide – more than doubled this past spring when NHTSA added up to 40 million more vehicles, making it the largest recall in U.S. history.
For GM, the recall affects about 6.8 million vehicles; the automaker is asking NHTSA to delay the recall for certain 2007-2012 GM full-size trucks and SUVs. GM claims these vehicles “are safe to drive and that the propellant in these inflators is not currently at risk.” The automaker says these inflators will likely perform as designed until at least Dec. 31, 2019. NHTSA had expanded the recall in May after it determined the root cause of the air bag inflators’ propensity to rupture – a combination of time, environmental moisture and varying high temperatures that leads to the propellant degrading in the inflators. It will be interesting to see what NHTSA does with GM’s request.
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