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Quest to save a few dollars per air bag led to a deadly crisis

GM supplier Autoliv recalls how it was asked to match Takata's cheaper design in the late 1990s or risk losing carmaker's business

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"General Motors told us they were going to buy Takata's inflaters unless we could make a cheaper one," Ms Rink said. "That set off a big panic on how to compete."

New York

IN THE late 1990s, General Motors got an unexpected and enticing offer. A little-known Japanese supplier, Takata, had designed a much cheaper automotive air bag.

GM turned to its air bag supplier - the Swedish-American company Autoliv - and asked it to match the cheaper