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US recalls trigger full review of car-safety regulator

New York

CONCERNED about safety lapses by the country's top auto regulator, the Obama administration is undertaking a comprehensive review of the agency to determine if "we have the dial set correctly" on safety, a senior administration official with knowledge of the review said.

The inquiry into the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) comes during a record year for recalls, in which the agency's role in analysing crash data and policing vehicle defects has been scrutinised by Congress.

Recently, the agency, in an unusual warning, urged car owners to "act immediately" to have defective airbags repaired, but several carmakers said they were not prepared to make the repairs, creating...

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