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Washington — Volkswagen AG said Friday it is recalling 461,000 cars and SUVs in North America for potentially defective air bags. The move came after pressure from the U.S. government.

And Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said late Friday it is recalling 85,000 new cars because of engine stalling.

Volkswagen says a loss of an electrical connection to the driver’s front air bag could prevent it from deploying. It’s the latest in a string of millions of vehicles recalled this year for air bag issues. Last year, automakers recalled more than 20 million vehicles for air bag issues.

The VW recall includes 420,000 vehicles in the United States and 41,000 in Canada and covers the 2010-14 CC; 2011-13 EOS; 2011-14 Golf and GTI; 2010-14 Passat and Tiguan; and 2010-13 Jetta.

VW says debris may tear the air bag clock spring, a spiral cable that keeps the air bag powered while the steering wheel is turned. It hasn’t set a schedule for repairs.

Until Friday, VW had recalled only109,000 vehicles in the United States this year in eight recall campaigns, according to NHTSA data.

VW said in May 2012 it had reviewed the issue and because of the “low failure rate” decided against a recall. It made a running change in December 2012 to address the issue. But after VW met with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on July 15, the agency demanded a recall.

The recall of some 2015 Chrysler 200 sedans was prompted because some electrical connectors were damaged when a supplier conducted post-production tests. No crashes or injuries have been reported.

The recall covers about 77,000 cars in the United States, 7,115 in Canada and 848 in Mexico. Fiat Chrysler didn’t disclose a repair schedule.

Fords, Mercury lighting probed

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday it is opening a preliminary investigation into nearly 520,000 2003-05 Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis cars over lighting problems that may be linked to 15 crashes.

NHTSA said complaints indicate the headlights can fail suddenly and without warning. The agency reviewed 605 reports. It reviewed similar complaints in 2008 without demanding a recall.

NHTSA said it has four reports alleging minor crashes or loss of control, but no injuries. Some drivers ran off the road, and one reportedly struck a deer.

In April, Ford told NHTSA it has received 3,092 complaints of failed headlights related to the lighting control module. Within Ford’s complaints, there are 11 reports of crashes.

David Shepardson

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