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US denies Ford, Mazda bids to delay Takata recall decision

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DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government has denied requests from Ford and Mazda for more time to test Takata air bag inflators as the companies try to avoid massive recalls.

Both automakers petitioned safety regulators to escape recalls involving more than 3 million vehicles. They contend that testing by Takata didn’t show problems with Ford and Mazda inflators. They also asked regulators to delay ruling on the petitions until March 31 so Ford can do more tests.

But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the request for a delay isn’t reasonable or supported by current testing. That means it will rule on the recalls without the additional tests.

Takata inflators can explode with too much force and spew out shrapnel. At least 19 people have been killed worldwide.

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