WASHINGTON—General Motors filed a petition with NHTSA for the fourth straight year to avoid recalling millions of vehicles with Takata airbag inflators.
The petition was posted in the Federal Register on Wednesday by NHTSA but was originally filed by GM on Jan. 11, 2019. The automaker requested the administration exempt GM from recalls that would require the company to replace the airbag inflators in more than 6 million trucks and SUVs.
In a 2015 agreement with the U.S. government, Takata declared GM's front passenger inflators defective. Takata eventually filed for bankruptcy, and in 2018 its safety products business was acquired for $1.6 billion by Chinese-owned Key Safety Systems, which since has renamed the business Joyson Safety Systems.
At least 24 fatalities and about 200 injuries have been blamed on the Japanese company's malfunctioning airbag inflators, which exploded during accidents and spread shrapnel into passenger compartments.
After NHTSA extended rulings on previous petitions, GM said it investigated and analyzed long-term performance of the inflators and found they "do not present an unreasonable risk to safety."
GM said in the recent petition that the Takata inflators provided to the auto maker "are not used by any other original equipment manufacturer" and are safe because of their unique design features.
The Associated Press reported on the petition on Wednesday.