The saga of Takata airbags isn't over for car manufacturers. Ford is urging owners of 33,428 Ranger pickup trucks in North America not to drive them. The reason they're giving is they have Takata airbag inflators “that are an immediate risk to safety," reported Mercury News.
When Ford investigated the Ranger inflators from the 2006 model year, they found disturbing test results. The looked into Ranger inflators, finding that more inflators had ruptured or recorded high internal pressure readings, spokeswoman Elizabeth Weigandt said Monday.
Ford and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said dealers will tow the Rangers to service bays to replace the faulty inflators. But no worries about being out a vehicle, they'll be providing loaners.
Ford added that parts for the repairs already are available.
The Rangers added to the do-not-drive list were built between Aug. 5 and Dec. 15, 2005. Certain 2006 Mazda B-Series trucks, which were made by Ford and are similar to the Ranger, were already on the list.
“Affected owners are urged not to drive these vehicles and to contact Ford and Mazda immediately to schedule a free repair,” NHTSA said in a printed release.
Takata uses ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate airbags. However, the chemical has been shown to deteriorate and burn too fast, blowing apart metal canisters and hurling shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least 22 people have died and more than 180 have been hurt because of the problem.
The inflators have caused the largest series of car recalls in U.S. history. About 69 million inflators are being recalled in the U.S. and over 100 million worldwide are being recalled.
Last month, Ford told 2,900 owners of the 2006 Ranger not to drive them. They made the announcement after finding out that a West Virginia man had been killed by an exploding inflator.