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The U.S. auto safety watchdog said Wednesday it will hold an Oct. 22 public hearing on Takata Corp.’s massive air bag inflator recall, an event that could prompt regulators to take a stronger hand in efforts to eliminate the deadly defect from nearly 20 million vehicles.

In an announcement expected to be published in the Federal Register as early as Thursday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the proceeding will include presentations by regulators, vehicle manufacturers, air bag inflator suppliers and organizations involved in testing the products.

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