US tells GM to recall nearly 6M trucks with Takata inflators

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The signage on the outside of General Motors Co. Flint Assembly on June 12, 2019 in Flint, Michigan. (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP) (JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. is making General Motors recall and repair nearly 6 million big pickup trucks and SUVs equipped with potentially dangerous Takata air bag inflators.

The decision announced Monday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will cost the automaker an estimated $1.2 billion, about one third of its net income this year.

GM had petitioned the agency four times starting in 2016 to avoid a recall, contending the air bag inflator canisters have been safe on the road and in testing. But owners responded by accusing the company of putting profits over safety.

Takata used volatile ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to fill air bags in a crash. But the chemical can deteriorate when exposed to heat and humidity and explode with too much force, blowing apart a metal canister and spewing shrapnel.

Twenty-seven people have been killed worldwide by the exploding inflators including 18 in the U.S.

It took the agency more than four years to arrive at its decision, which comes toward the end of President Donald Trump’s four-year term.

Twenty-seven people, including 18 in the U.S., have been killed and hundreds injured by Takata inflators worldwide.

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