Ford issued a strong warning to owners of their vehicles on Thursday. Reuters reports that the auto manufacturer confirmed that the second death in an older pickup truck was caused by a defective airbag inflator of Takata Corp.
They urged 2,900 owners of Ford trucks in North America to stop driving immediately until they can get replacement parts.
They revealed that they confirmed in late December that a July 2017 crash death in West Virginia in a 2006 Ford Ranger was caused by a defective Takata inflator. A similar death took place in December 2015 in South Carolina.
Ford told consumers that the Takata deaths occurred with inflators built on the same day that had been installed in 2006 Ranger pickups. At least 21 deaths worldwide are linked to the Takata inflators. These dangerous parts can rupture and send metal fragments into the driver’s body.
The faulty inflators led to the largest automotive recall in history. The other 19 deaths have occurred in Honda Motor Co vehicles. Most of those deaths were in the United States.
Ford issued a new recall for automobiles that had been previously recalled in 2016. Of those 391,000 2004-2006 Ranger vehicles, the new recall announced on Thursday affects 2,900 vehicles.
The recall covers 2,700 Rangers in the United States and nearly 200 in Canada. The new recall will allow for identification of the 2,900 owners in the highest risk pool.
Ford Rangers aren't the only vehicles impacted. A Mazda Motor Corp spokeswoman said Thursday that the company would conduct a similar recall and stop drive warning for some 2006 Mazda B-Series trucks. They were built by Ford, and they are similar to the Ranger.
While some might assume that they can safely drive their trucks despite the warning, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urged owners to heed the caution.
“It is extremely important that all high-risk airbags are tracked down and replaced immediately,” NHTSA spokeswoman Karen Aldana said.
Ford is taking the recall so seriously that they said it would pay to have vehicles towed to dealerships or send mobile repair teams to owners’ homes and provide free loaners if needed.
In June, Takata said it has recalled or expected to recall, about 125 million vehicles worldwide by 2019. That included more than 60 million in the United States. The inflators have injured more than 200 people worldwide.
In 2017, prosecutors in Detroit charged three former senior Takata executives with falsifying test results to conceal the inflator defect. None of those executives have come to the United States to face charges.
Automakers have struggled to get enough replacement parts for the massive recalls. In November, the NHTSA estimated that two-thirds of U.S. vehicles recalled have not yet been repaired.
Senator Bill Nelson said in a statement on Thursday the latest death is evidence of “the very definition of a failed recall.”
He also said the NHTSA must do more to make the recall a priority.