US al­lows GM to de­lay re­call to prove safety of airbags

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

DETROIT (AP): US AUTO safety reg­u­la­tors are al­low­ing Gen­eral Mo­tors to de­lay a large re­call of po­ten­tially de­fec­tive airbags, 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 GM to do long-term tests of Takata airbag in­fla­tors in older trucks and SUVs, in­clud­ing its top-sell­ing ve­hi­cle – the Chevro­let Sil­ver­ado pickup.

GM re­luc­tantly agreed to re­call 2.5 mil­lion ve­hi­cles in May 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 US and as many as 16 world­wide.

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

The re­call cov­ered the Sil­ver­ado, GMC Sierra pickup and many pop­u­lar full-size SUVs from the 2007 to 2011 model years. Some of the trucks are now older than the min­i­mum six years that it takes for Takata in­fla­tors to de­te­ri­o­rate and be­come risky. But GM con­tends its tests so far show that they are safe for at least three and a half more years.

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