US opens safety hearing into 52 million air bag inflators

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. auto safety regulators on Thursday opened a public hearing into whether the government should require the recall of 52 million air bag inflators produced by auto suppliers ARC Automotive and Delphi Automotive because they may rupture and send dangerous metal fragments flying.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration first demanded a voluntary recall in May on the issue linked to one U.S fatality and seven injuries, but ARC rejected it. The agency issued an initial decision in September that the vehicles should be recalled, the first formal step before it can force a recall.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)