Federal Officials Expand Investigation into Millions of Vehicles Over Airbag Failure
Ford is recalling nearly 391,000 of its Ranger pickup trucks because the driver’s side airbag inflators can explode with too much force causing injury or death. According to an Associated Press news report, this recall covers trucks from the 2004 through 2006 model years in the United States and Canada. This recall also comes just days after the government announced that a South Carolina man was killed when a Takata airbag inflator exploded in December.
Joel Knight, 52, of Kershaw died after being struck in the neck by metal shrapnel after his 2006 Ford Ranger hit a cow in the road and crashed into a fence. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has already said it will recall another five million vehicles equipped with faulty inflators made by Takata Corporation of Japan. Some of the recalls are the direct result of the crash that killed Knight while the rest are due to airbags failing lab safety tests.
More automakers are expected to come forth with additional recalls. Currently, the Takata airbag recall covers 14 auto and truck makers and totals about 24 million vehicles. Takata uses the chemical ammonium nitrate, which is commonly found in fertilizer. This chemical can degrade over time especially when it s exposed to high heat and humidity. This can cause the inflator to explode sending metal shrapnel into the vehicle compartment. So far, including Knight, 10 people have died and more than 100 have been injured as a result of these defective airbag inflators.
If Your Vehicle Has Been Recalled
If your vehicle has been recalled for defective Takata airbag inflators, it is important that you take the necessary action. If parts are not yet available, vehicle owners should contact their manufacturer for interim guidance on steps they can take to keep themselves and their occupants safe. Owners should get their vehicles fixed as soon as parts are available. If you own a vehicle equipped with a Takata airbag, but haven’t yet received recall letters, it would be a good idea to look up your vehicle identification number (VIN) to see if you are part of a national or regional recall.
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a faulty Takata airbag inflator, please contact an experienced auto product liability attorney who can help hold the manufacturer accountable and help you secure maximum compensation for your injuries, damages and losses.