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Takata outside panel set to begin audit of air-bag production

[WASHINGTON] The former US transportation secretary leading an internal review of Takata Corp, the air-bag maker at the center of a global recall crisis, hired six former regulators to assist in the audit.

The panel will include two former heads of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Marion Blakey and Dr Jeffrey Runge, as well as John Snow, a former US Treasury Secretary, according to a statement Tuesday by the review panel.

Samuel Skinner, who was transportation secretary during the George H W Bush administration, has been spearheading a review of Takata's policies, procedures, structure and personnel since December.

The newly formed panel will ensure the company is "fully and promptly responsive to the traveling public," Mr Skinner said in the statement.

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Exploding Takata air bags have been tied to at least four fatalities in the US and more than 100 injuries caused by shrapnel.

Toyota Motor Corp and other automakers have already called for independent testing to supplement Takata's investigation. Those companies have had a meeting in Washington to begin the effort.