Takata recall could expand further

Regulators in the US said they could expand their investigation into Takata air bag inflators beyond 11 car manufacturers, as questions arose about whether vehicle design played a role in the devices posing a deadly risk to the public.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) chief Mark Rosekind said his agency can add more car manufacturers to the consent order that regulators announced with Takata in May. He said some car makers could also begin to move more quickly when they suspect a potential problem.

On Thursday, NHTSA expects to make a case in public that it should coordinate the Takata recall to ensure that an estimated 23.4 million air bag inflators installed in 19.2 million US vehicles from 11 automakers are properly replaced.

Mark Rosekind advised reporters, ‘We’ll try to be very specific on Thursday but it goes beyond the 11.’

‘All of these are fitting under the investigation we currently have. And we’ll be talking about all of those,’ he said.

The defective air bag inflators, which can explode with too much force and spray metal shrapnel into passenger compartments, have been linked to at least eight deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide.