Federal regulators, in any country and for any industry, do what they can under the rules set out by the legislative body in charge. There is no guarantee with anything, and regulators can only enforce what they are allowed to enforce. While it is certainly concerning to see safety regulations flaunted, it can't come as a surprise to any of us.
No, federal regulators are not doing enough to address safety concerns such as the Toyota exploding airbag recall. The Toyota company has had numerous incidents over the last few years including the airbag recall as well as gas pedals that stick. The federal regulators should be putting these companies on some sort of probation in which their production methods are scrutinized to ensure production of safe vehicles.
The NHTSA should impose fines on automotive companies like Toyota. Fines should be levied if and when a consumer dies or is injured when the determined cause is manufacture related. They should not only rely solely on the promise of a recall by the company in question. By imposing severe financial fines; most companies will not risk financial loss and will be more diligent in manufacturing quality products.
No one should have to be worried buying a new car or any new technology for that matter. But due to this incident people will have had that thought at the back of their minds. Considering this default in the car could have been life threatening, why should people have to suffer the consequences.