Honda is expanding its recall of vehicles with Takata-manufactured airbags to include all 50 states—a move that the Japanese parts supplier opposes. Originally thought to be confined to certain high-humidity locales, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration demanded an expanded recall when airbags ruptured injuring drivers in vehicles outside the original recall zone. Takata officials believe that the incidents outside this recall zone are outliers that don’t warrant a nationwide recall. So far, the defect has been attributed to at least five deaths, and dozens of injuries have been reported worldwide.
In a letter to NHTSA yesterday, Takata rejected the agency’s demand for the nationwide recall, claiming that the government doesn’t have authority to tell a parts-maker to issue a recall—which triggered a House subcommittee hearing. In a statement, the NHTSA called Takata’s response “disappointing” and said it will review the response to determine next steps.