Japan transport ministry urges Takata to conduct probe into air bag rupture problem

Markets Associated Press

Japan's transport ministry has told air bag maker Takata to conduct an internal investigation after cases of its air bags exploding triggered safety concerns in the U.S. and other countries.

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Transport Minister Akihiro Ohta said Friday that the ministry ordered Takata Corp. to conduct its own investigation into the air bags and report back. The ministry's direct instruction to an auto parts maker is considered rare.

The ministry also ordered Takata and Japanese automakers to study whether additional recalls are needed at home following a U.S. decision to expand recalls nationwide from an earlier measure limited to high-humidity zones.

Takata air bags can inflate with excessive force, sending metal shrapnel toward the driver and passengers. The problems have caused six deaths and dozens of injuries.