Senators ask auto safety agency why it lets car companies limit recalls to certain states

Markets Associated Press

Two U.S. senators are questioning why auto safety regulators are letting car companies recall vehicles only in limited regions when a safety problem could happen anywhere.

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Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Edward Markey, D-Mass., wrote a letter Wednesday to David Friedman, acting head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They cited a dangerous problem with air bags as an example of how the agency has let automakers limit recalls to a few high-humidity states.

Inflators in air bags made by Japanese parts supplier Takata Corp. can rupture, injuring people when metal fragments fly out as bags are inflated.

So far automakers have announced recalls of about 12 million vehicles worldwide because of the problem.

The senators say regional recalls risk the safety of those in states that aren't covered.