The US is making General Motors recall and repair nearly 6 million big pickup trucks and SUVs equipped with potentially dangerous Takata air bag inflators, per the AP. The decision announced Monday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will cost the automaker an estimated $1.2 billion, about one-third of its net income this year. Drivers can check to see if their vehicles have been recalled by going to www.nhtsa.gov/recalls and keying in their 17-digit vehicle identification number. The company has 30 days to give NHTSA a proposed schedule for notifying vehicle owners and starting the recall. GM had petitioned the agency four times starting in 2016 to avoid a recall, contending the air bag inflator canisters have been safe on the road and in testing.
It took the agency more than four years to arrive at its decision. NHTSA said in a prepared statement that it analyzed all available data on the air bags, including engineering and statistical analyses, aging tests, and field data. "Based on this information and information provided to the petition's public docket, NHTSA concluded that the GM inflators in question are at risk of the same type of explosion after long-term exposure to high heat and humidity as other recalled Takata inflators," the agency said. Twenty-seven people have been killed worldwide by the exploding inflators, including 18 in the US. The recalls drove Japan's Takata into bankruptcy and brought criminal charges against the company. Eventually it was purchased by a Chinese-owned auto parts supplier.
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