Automakers Recall 1.7 million Cars with Faulty Takata Airbags
Ford and Mazda are adding more than 35,000 pickup trucks in North America to a list of vehicles that should not be driven because they are equipped with Takata airbag inflators that could explode and cause lethal injuries. According to an Associated Press news report, the warning includes 33,428 Ranger and 1,955 Mazda B-Series small pickups from the 2006 model year. Ford, which made the B-series for Mazda, found test results showing that the trucks had inflators that had ruptured or recorded high internal pressure readings.
When the recall begins, dealers will tow the pickup trucks to the service bays to replace the faulty inflators. Consumers will also be given loaner vehicles at no charge. Parts for the repairs are already available. The Ranges on the do-not-drive list were manufactured between Aug. 5 and Dec. 15, 2005. Affected owners are urged not to drive these vehicles and to contact Ford and Mazda immediately to schedule a free repair.
Deadly Airbag Inflators
The Takata inflators set off an unprecedented series of recalls. About 69 million inflators are being recalled in the United States and more than 100 million worldwide are being recalled. Takata apparently uses ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the airbags. However, the chemical can deteriorate and burn too quickly blowing up metal canisters and hurling shrapnel at drivers and passengers. So far, 22 people have died and more than 180 have been injured as a result of these airbag defects.
This recall was spurred by the death of (among others) 56-year-old Steve Mollohan of West Virginia in an accident involving a Ford Ranger pickup truck on July 1. The company determined that Mollohan’s truck’s inflator was made the same day as one that exploded and killed a South Carolina man driving a Ranger in 2015. Ford said even though most trucks can be driven, it issued a do-not-drive order because of the elevated risk.
Auto Product Liability Issues
We are relieved to note that the free repairs are available for these defective vehicles. There are millions of vehicle owners in the United States who are still waiting for their free repairs on Takata recalls. As we speak, many of these vehicles are still on our roadways and what’s worse, many of the owners may not even know that they are driving a vehicle equipped with a recalled Takata airbag.
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a defective auto or auto part, you may be able to seek compensation for injuries, damages and losses. Contact an experienced auto defect lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.