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General Motors is recalling about a million sports utility vehicles

The General Motors logo is displayed outside the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant, Jan. 27, 2020, in Hamtramck, Mich.
Paul Sancya
/
AP
The General Motors logo is displayed outside the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant, Jan. 27, 2020, in Hamtramck, Mich.

General Motors is recalling about a million 2014 through 2017 model sport utility vehicles…because the airbag inflators could explode and shower passengers with shrapnel.

But as Quinn Klinefelter reports…the company responsible for the airbags…is refusing to launch a much wider recall effort.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants the company that makes the airbags – A-R-C – or Ark --Automotive – to recall a total of 67 million airbag inflators officials fear could explode.

   Federal officials say the defective airbags caused at least two deaths…including a Michigan driver killed two years ago when an inflator ruptured in a 2015 Chevrolet Traverse. But ARC Automotive is resisting a widespread recall…arguing the airbag problems are random manufacturing anomalies.

When airbags made by the company Takata suffered similar problems…it forced the largest recall in automotive history…and drove Takata into bankruptcy.

   At least a dozen automakers use ARC’s airbags…and the recall could conceivably affect about a quarter of all the vehicles on U-S roadways.

Quinn Klinefelter is a host and Senior News Editor for 101.9 WDET, anchoring midday newscasts and preparing reports for WDET, NPR and the BBC. Klinefelter joined WDET in 1998 after earning a M.A. from the nation’s top-ranked journalism school, the University of Missouri-Columbia, and working as a sports correspondent for BBC Radio 4 and as a talk show host, anchor and reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio.