Automakers have the "ultimate responsibility" for the costs of replacing the deadly airbags made by Takata Corp, regardless what happens to the Japanese firm said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Mark Rosekind, the head of NHTSA told reporters that he is worried that not enough is being done to fix more than 3,00,000 vehicles that are affected, mostly made by Honda that have a chance of exploding in a crash.
Honda stated that it continues to investigate and assess new methods of convincing owners that have cars with affected Takata airbag inflators to complete the necessary repairs under the recall.
Takata is looking for a buyer, and there are also speculations that the Japanese company could seek bankruptcy protection. Rosekind said that his agency believes it has "several layers of protection" to ensure that recalls of up to 70 million airbag inflators are completed as agreed with the company.
Carmakers globally are ramping up the biggest-ever recall after pressure from US authorities. Takata had earlier this year agreed to declare more of its air bags as defective in the United States and other countries.
So far, 11 deaths in the United States have been linked to Takata airbags that sprays metal shrapnel inside vehicle when deployed. The most-recent reported US fatality was of a 50-year-old woman who died in a 2001 Honda Civic.
Rosekind, after appearing at a conference said, "We have had a significant number of meetings with Honda." The importance of replacing the faulty airbag inflators made by Takata could require sending mobile repair teams to fix vehicles, Rosekind said.
Honda has said it is supporting regulators and said that the death of the 50-year old occured despite mailing 20 recall notices to owners of the vehicle since 2008, but the car was never fixed.