Ford is seeking air bags for the driver's side only.

The auto maker said it is asking the government to let car makers avoid installing automatic seat belts or air bags on the passenger side of new cars if they agree to put air bags on the driver's side. Ford officials said the request to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is based on technical difficulties in developing passenger-side air bags. As the government's rules now stand, car makers have to start phasing in air bags or automatic seat belts on both sides of new vehicles this fall, with all new cars produced after September, 1989, to be covered.

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