NHTSA confirms death of new Ford due to faulty airbag inflator
US auto safety regulators on Thursday confirmed another death from a faulty airbag inflator in a 2006 Ford Ranger pickup truck and reiterated urgent calls for owners to have their vehicles repaired.
Chrysler parent Stellantis earlier this month urged owners of 276,000 older U.S. vehicles to immediately stop driving them after three reported deaths in accidents related to faulty Takata inflators over the past seven months.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the 2006 Ranger had already received a “do not drive” warning in a fatal accident in Florida in June at the time of the incident, which ruptured the Takata driver’s side airbag .
Since 2009, more than 30 deaths worldwide — including at least 23 deaths in the US — and hundreds of injuries in vehicles from various automakers have been linked to Takata airbag inflators that can explode, releasing metal shrapnel into cars and trucks. More than 400 US injuries have also been reported.
Over the past decade, more than 67 million Takata airbag inflators have been recalled in the United States and more than 100 million worldwide, in the largest automotive safety recall in history.
Ford said that before the most recent accidental death in Takata, it had sent more than a hundred messages to the owner’s home for the recall, along with multiple text messages, and had a canvasser visit the home to attempt the repair. for this vehicle.
Ford said it had a 97% completion rate.
“We are urging all remaining affected owners to refrain from driving these vehicles and to contact Ford to schedule a free repair,” a spokesman said.
The automaker previously confirmed two other Takata deaths in older Ranger pickup trucks, including a fatal July 2017 crash in West Virginia.
NHTSA says the Takata recalls were spurred by propellant that could break down after prolonged exposure to high temperature swings and humidity.
Most reported deaths were at Honda Motor 7267.T vehicles.
Last year, NHTSA opened an investigation into 30 million additional vehicles built by nearly two dozen automakers that may have faulty Takata inflators.
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