UPDATE 4-U.S. auto regulator seeks nationwide recall of Takata air bags

miércoles 19 de noviembre de 2014 02:48 GYT

* NHTSA urges U.S. nationwide recalls

* Takata showed "unwillingness to move forward" - NHTSA

* Honda accounts for most cars in regional recall

* Takata shares fall 7.8 pct to 5-1/2-year low (Adds comment from SMBC Nikko analyst)

By Julia Edwards and Eric Beech

WASHINGTON, Nov 18 (Reuters) - The U.S. auto safety regulator has told Japanese supplier Takata Corp and five automakers to expand nationwide a regional recall of potentially lethal air bags, increasing pressure on the industry to move faster in a growing scandal.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also scolded Takata for what it called "an unwillingness to move forward" on a nationwide recall, and said the company needs to be open with the U.S. public about the risks of its air bags.

Takata and automakers have so far taken a targeted approach in recalling U.S. vehicles with air bags that can rupture upon deployment, shooting shrapnel into the car. Five fatalities, including four in the United States, have been linked to the air bags.

The U.S. regional recall has involved 4.1 million cars in hot and humid areas where the air bags may be prone to fail, including Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana and parts of Texas along the Gulf of Mexico. Most of those cars are made by Honda Motor, Takata's biggest client.   Continuación...