Federal official calls air bag replacement rates ‘uneven’

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal officials say they’re exploring new ways to reach out to car owners to get more people to participate in the Takata air bag recall.

Heidi King of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says millions of potentially lethal air bags remain in use and repair rates are “not where we want them to be.”

The Takata recall involves 19 vehicle manufacturers.

King says automakers have made progress in persuading customers to bring their vehicles in, but calls that progress “uneven.”

King was testifying Tuesday before a Senate panel, which made her written statement available beforehand.

King reports that carmakers are turning to texting, visiting homes and using social media to reach those who haven’t responded to traditional outreach.

At least 22 people have died from defective air bag inflators.

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