Facing a midnight deadline to expand a recall of defective airbags, Takata, the Japanese auto supplier, had not taken any action Tuesday night on the demand by United States regulators.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the company an ultimatum last week, to expand the recall beyond a limited geographic region to the rest of the nation or face further legal action and potential penalties. It gave Takata until midnight, Eastern United States time, to comply.
“We recognize that N.H.T.S.A. has urged Takata and our customers to support expansions of the current regional campaigns in the United States,” he said. When asked to clarify its statement, the company offered no further details.
In a prepared statement for a hearing before a House congressional panel on Wednesday, however, a Takata executive said that the company believed that public safety was best served if limited geographic areas of high humidity “remain the priority for the replacement of suspect inflaters.”
In a statement late Tuesday, David J. Friedman, deputy administrator of the agency, said Takata’s response was disappointing, and added: “Takata shares responsibility for keeping drivers safe and we believe anything short of a national recall does not live up to that responsibility. We will review...