The date of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's briefing was
not disclosed. It is not a hearing and will not be open to the
public, the aide said.
The committee has not requested any documents on Takata at this
point, the aide said.
Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
were not immediately available.
The faulty air bags can explode with too much force and spray
shrapnel at occupants, a problem that has been linked to four deaths
and numerous injuries.
NHTSA opened an investigation in June into the regional recalls and
whether Takata air bag inflators made between 2000 and 2007 were
improperly sealed. Takata has said it will cooperate with U.S.
authorities and the 10 automakers affected.
NHTSA has urged owners of certain Toyota <7203.T>, Honda <7267.T>,
Mazda <7261.T>, BMW <BMWG.DE>, Nissan <7201.T>, Mitsubishi <7211.T>,
Subaru <7270.T>, Chrysler <FCHA.MI>, Ford <F.N> and General Motors
<GM.N> vehicles to replace installed air bags as soon as possible.
The safety agency said the number of vehicles affected by the
recalls is 7.8 million.
Greater public attention has been focused on recalls in the United
States this year following GM's recall of 2.6 million cars for
defective ignition switches linked to at least 29 deaths.
Related to Takata, the House committee, led by Chairman Fred Upton,
a Republican from Michigan, wants to know who knew what when, what
steps have been taken and how the problem can be corrected, the aide
said. Discussions with the affected automakers are also being
[to top of second column]
"First and foremost, we need to ensure that regulators and
automakers are doing everything they can to address this hazard and
protect drivers," Upton said in a statement.
"Drivers are being told they need to fix their cars immediately, yet
they are directed to a website that isnít working properly and are
being told by dealers that they donít have working parts," he added,
referring to NHTSA's website for consumers. "Drivers are rightly
confused and panicked."
The House committee also is still scheduling discussions with the
affected automakers, the aide said.
Asked whether the committee's work on possible new legislation
following the GM recall could be influenced by the Takata recalls,
the aide said everything was on the table but there was no specific
timeline for legislation.
(Reporting by Richard Cowan in Washington and Ben Klayman in
Detroit; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
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