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Ford stops using Takata air bag inflators

Detroit News staff and wire reports

Ford has decided to stop using air bag inflators made by Takata Corp. in future vehicles as the auto industry continues to move away from the potentially dangerous products.

Takata inflators can explode with too much force, throwing shrapnel at drivers and passengers. At least eight people have been killed worldwide and hundreds injured.

Company spokeswoman Kelli Felker says Ford will stop using Takata inflators that use ammonium nitrate in any car, truck or SUV now under development. The automaker will work with a number of different suppliers going forward.

Ford is the fourth automaker to make the move. The company will continue to buy other products from the Japanese maker of auto safety equipment.

Honda, Toyota and Nissan already have announced plans to stop using Takata inflators in future vehicles.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said in a statement said it doesn’t discuss future supply plans.

“No current-production FCA US LLC vehicles are equipped with the components subject to the ongoing recalls,” the company said. “FCA US vehicles meet or exceed all applicable federal safety standards.”

When asked, General Motors Co. declined to say if it was continuing to work with Takata.

“GM works with all major suppliers of air bags in balancing vehicle program needs, supplier capacities and quality control requirements,” the company said in a statement. “We do not discuss specific supplier arrangements.”

Twelve automakers have recalled 19.2 million vehicles in the U.S. to replace defective inflators.

Ford has recalled 1,509,535 vehicles to date that have certain Takata air bag inflators after Takata declared that those inflators are defective. Affected vehicles include all 2005-14 Ford Mustang and 2005-06 Ford GT vehicles for driver side inflators. All 2004-06 Ford Rangers built in North America are also included for passenger side air bag inflators.

Early on, most of the vehicles recalled were in high-humidity areas before Ford and other automakers expanded recalls.

Detroit News Staff Writer Michael Martinez contributed.