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GM allowed to delay air bag recall

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General Motors is being allowed to delay the recall of a large number of potentially defective air bags to try to avoid a huge financial loss.

US regulators are giving the company more time for long-term tests of the Takata devices it uses, to prove their safety in older trucks and SUVs.

If GM can prove that the air bags are safe, then the recall of more than 2.5 million vehicles could be stopped.

The air bags are said to be risky when they are more than six years old.

Some of the GM fleet is older than that, but the carmaker says it believes the bags are safe for a further three years.

Toyota recalled another 5.8 million cars worldwide last month because of possibly faulty Takata air bags, bringing the total of recalled air bags to 23.1 million across the car industry.

US regulators believe the volatile chemical used in the air bag inflators, ammonium nitrate, can cause the bags to explode with excessive force.

Takata also produces seatbelts, child seats, and other safety-related car parts.

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