Air bag maker exec shuns nationwide recall, says problem limited to high humidity areas

MarketsAssociated Press

The quality chief for Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. is telling a Senate committee that a national recall of driver's side air bag inflators is not necessary.

In testimony before the Commerce Committee, Senior Vice President of Quality Hiroshi Shimizu says recalls should be limited to high-humidity areas.

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Takata air bags can inflate with too much force, sending metal shrapnel into the passenger compartment and injuring people. The problem has caused at least five deaths and dozens of injuries. Humidity can cause the air bag propellant to burn too quickly.

U.S. safety regulators are demanding that Takata recall driver's air bags nationwide after incidents in California and North Carolina.

But Shimizu says tests have not revealed any inflator ruptures outside the high-humidity zones, mainly in the South.