The high profile ignition switch and airbag recalls in the US have focused government scrutiny on the federal regulators oversight

The high profile ignition switch and airbag recalls in the US have focused government scrutiny on the federal regulator's oversight

The US Transportation Department will conduct an internal review of the country's auto safety regulators in response to a series of safety lapses, including last week's reports of defective air bags, a senior administration official said over the weekend.

The official, who spoke to the Reuters news agency on condition of anonymity, said the review of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would look at what has occurred and what can be done better to ensure safety.

NHTSA has faced criticism and congressional scrutiny with millions of vehicles facing recalls over faulty airbags or ignition switches.

The House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee is to hold an initial briefing with US safety regulators this week to learn the details of the regional recalls affecting 10 automakers, a committee aide told Reuters on Friday.

The news of the review emerged days after Toyota recalled 247,000 vehicles in the US because of potentially defective Takata air bags that can rupture and spray metal shrapnel at occupants.

NHTSA has urged owners of certain Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Chrysler, Ford and General Motors vehicles to replace installed air bags as soon as possible. The safety agency has said the number of vehicles affected by the recalls is 7.8m.