US reports 8 deaths, 98 injuries from exploding air bags

Posted at 10:13 AM, Oct 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-22 11:15:19-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. safety regulators say eight people have died and 98 people have been injured by exploding air bag inflators made by Takata Corp.

Those injured have suffered cuts to the neck, loss of eyesight and hearing and broken teeth, according to representatives of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, who gave the updated totals Thursday at a public meeting on the problem.

The agency says it knows of 89 driver's side and 32 passenger inflator ruptures. Nearly one in 10 ruptures of driver side air bags causes a death.

About 23.4 million Takata driver and passenger air bag inflators have been recalled on 19.2 million U.S. vehicles sold by 12 auto and truck makers.

The agency is moving toward taking over management of the massive recalls to speed up repairs.