US agency urges automakers to speed up Takata recalls

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government's road safety agency is urging automakers to speed up replacement of potentially dangerous Takata air bag inflators.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in a statement that it has met with 19 affected companies, urging them to accelerate the recalls and to post recall plans on their websites. The statement doesn't say if automakers agreed to the request.

Automakers missed a Dec. 31 deadline to replace 100 percent of the oldest and most dangerous inflators.

Takata's inflators can explode with too much force and hurl shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least 23 people have been killed and about 300 injured worldwide. The inflators have resulted in the largest series of auto recalls in U.S. history covering 37 million vehicles and about 50 million inflators.