Feds urge expansion of vehicle recall after exploding airbags blamed for several deaths

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The government is asking for a nationwide recall of vehicles equipped with exploding airbags made by Takata.

It would be an expansion of a current recall which covers 8 million vehicles made by 10 different automakers. Until now the recall has been limited to vehicles located in warmer states with humid climates.

The call for the expansion comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration discovered a second airbag that exploded in a location outside the regional recall. The flawed airbags can explode and hit passengers with shrapnel.

At least four U.S. drivers of Honda and Acura cars are believed to have been killed by the airbags, according to the Center for Auto Safety.

Takata was notified of the discovery on Monday night but was “unwilling” to move forward with expanding the recall, NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman said on Tuesday.

The Japanese airbag maker did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

If Takata and the automakers do not agree to expand the recall, they could face a fine of up to $35 million. Takata is also facing a federal criminal probe.

NHTSA is working on counting how many more vehicles the expanded recall would affect. It would only include vehicles made by Ford, Honda, Chrysler, Mazda and BMW.

Honda and Chrysler said they would continue to work with NHTSA to resolve the issue. BMW said it already conducted a nationwide recall. The other automakers did not immediately respond to emails from CNNMoney.

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