US safety agency investigating Suzuki small SUVs

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. safety regulators said Tuesday that they are investigating problems with air bag sensors in the seats of some small Suzuki SUVs.

The probe covers 205,000 vehicles including Grand Vitaras from the 2006 through 2011 model years and SX4s from 2007 through 2011.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says on its website that 128 owners have complained about problems with sensors in the front passenger seats that turn off the air bag when a child is sitting there.

In some cases, the sensors won’t detect a child and air bags will inflate. If that happens, a child could be hurt. In other cases, warning lights go off because of software problems.

Investigators will check to see if the problems are bad enough to cause a recall.

The safety agency hasn’t received any complaints of crashes or injuries.

The Associated Press left messages Tuesday morning with Suzuki seeking comment on the probe.

American Suzuki Motor Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November and said it would stop selling automobiles in the U.S. as part of a plan to restructure its business.

The company, based in Brea, Calif., is the sole distributor of Suzuki Motor Co. vehicles in the continental U.S.

American Suzuki Motor said it has enough cash to operate during the restructuring and intends to honor all car warranties.

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