September 1, 2015 / 8:04 PM / 3 years ago

U.S. says 19 million Takata air bag inflators still need repair

A sign with the Takata logo is seen on the building of the Takata Corporation in Auburn Hills, Michigan May 20, 2015. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

DETROIT (Reuters) - U.S. safety regulators on Tuesday said that about 19 million defective Takata Corp 7312.T air bag inflators remain installed in U.S. vehicles, and that no root cause to the problem has been found.

About 19.2 million vehicles containing a total of 23.4 million air bag inflators made by 11 automakers have been recalled, a NHTSA official said. The inflator figure is higher because about 4 million vehicles have defective Takata air bag inflators on both driver and passenger sides, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration official said.

The official briefed reporters on a telephone conference call to update an issue that has been the subject of several U.S. congressional hearings. Takata air bags can explode with too much force, sending shrapnel into the vehicle.

Several months ago, the NHTSA had said there were more than 30 million defective air bag inflators in U.S. vehicles. The reduced figure was due in part to double-counting of air bags and vehicles in previous estimates, the NHTSA official said.

Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Dan Grebler

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