• Kyodo

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U.S. auto safety regulators said Tuesday there are still about 19 million faulty Takata Corp. air bag inflators in U.S. cars and they need to be fixed.

The latest numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show 19.2 million vehicles in the country are equipped with 23.4 million Takata inflators, with about 4 million cars having a defective air bag on both the driver’s and passenger’s side, according to an agency official.

The official added that about 4.4 million of the inflators have been repaired.

The numbers are reduced from ones given earlier by NHTSA to a Senate committee in June because some inflators were double-counted while others are in vehicles overseas, the official said.

The numbers could “continue to fluctuate” as the agency continues its investigations and new recalls are announced or expanded to fix the defects linked to eight deaths and more than 100 injuries, the official said.

The official also said the agency is working to determine whether to demand a recall of side air bags made by the world’s second-largest air bag maker.

It opened an investigation after a Takata side air bag in a Volkswagen Group sports utility vehicle ruptured abnormally in June, the first such incident for the German automaker and the first known incident involving a side air bag.

More than 50 million cars equipped with Takata air bags have been recalled globally since 2008, mostly in the United States and Japan.

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