US lets GM delay a recall to try to prove its Takata air bags are safe – Los Angeles Times

Posted: Wednesday, November 23, 2016

U .S. auto safety regulators are allowing General Motors to delay a large recall of potentially defective air bags, giving the company time to prove that the devices are safe and to possibly avoid a huge financial hit.

The unusual move by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration buys time for an outside company hired by GM to do long-term tests of Takata air bag inflators in older trucks and SUVs including GM’s top-selling vehicle, the Chevrolet Silverado pickup.

GM reluctantly agreed earlier this year to recall 2.5 million vehicles to replace Takata front passenger inflators. But the company said at the time its inflators are unique and safer than those linked to 11 deaths in the U.S. and as many as 16 worldwide.

The company petitioned for the delay last week, and the government agreed Monday. The decision delays the recall until Aug. 31, 2017. If GM can prove to NHTSA that the inflators are safe by that time, the recall could be canceled.

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