The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is calling on Japanese airbag supplier Takata and five vehicle manufacturers to announce a nationwide recall on the potentially fatal defective airbags that Takata released.

With the move, the NHTSA is putting more pressure on the automobile industry to take action on the alarming issue, signifying that the earlier announced regional recall is not adequate.

The NHTSA also scolded the Japanese company for its apparent "unwillingness to move forward" with a nationwide recall, adding that Takata should be frank with the general public regarding the potential risks of its defective airbags.

Advocates for automobile safety and lawmakers, however, criticized the move of the NHTSA, stating that the strategy may still not be able to fully address the problem. In addition, the decision is coming at too late a time and through a vehicle that is not enforceable.

Takata and the five vehicle manufacturers to which the company supplied the defective airbags have collectively been taking a targeted approach in the recall of the potentially affected vehicles.

The defective airbags of Takata carry the risk of possibly rupturing once activated during an accident, sending metal shards into the vehicle. This further endangers the lives of passengers instead of saving them.

Five deaths, four of them within the United States, have already been connected to the issue.

The regional recall in the United States affected 4.1 million vehicles within hot and humid locations where the airbags are prone to failing, including the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and portions of Texas along the Gulf of Mexico.

David Friedman, deputy administrator of the NHTSA, said that the push for the expansion of the regional recall was prompted due to an incident last August in North Carolina that involved a 2007 Ford Mustang that had a defective airbag. The state was not included in the regional recall.

The NHTSA also ordered the five vehicle manufacturers, namely BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda and Mazda, to notify their customers to have their airbags replaced.

Over the previous six years, about 16 million vehicles worldwide that have the potentially deadly air bags have already been recalled. Over 10 million of these vehicles are in the U.S.

Of the five vehicle manufacturers, only BMW has so far initiated a national recall, with the rest of the companies currently cooperating with the NHTSA as they plan their respective national recalls.

The NHTSA also said that it had ordered the Japanese airbag supplier to provide information regarding the propellant utilized for new airbags, after Takata previously said that there were changes to the mix of chemicals.

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