Products Liability Law Daily Ford recalls Ranger vehicles after two fatalities involving Takata airbag inflators
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Friday, January 12, 2018

Ford recalls Ranger vehicles after two fatalities involving Takata airbag inflators

By Colleen Kave, J.D.

Ford Motor Company has recalled around 2,700 2006 Ford Ranger vehicles built at Twin Cities Assembly Plant between August 10, 2005, and December 15, 2005, because upon deployment of the driver side frontal airbag or the passenger side frontal airbag, excessive internal pressure may cause the inflator to explode. The company warns that in the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the driver's frontal airbag and/or the passenger’s frontal airbag, the inflator could explode with sharp metal fragments striking the vehicle occupants, potentially resulting in serious injury or death (NHTSA Recall Notice, Nos. 18V022 and 18V023, Report receipt date: January 11, 2018).

In a statement released Thursday, Ford disclosed that there have been two fatalities caused by driver airbag inflator ruptures from Takata inflators built on the same day. On December 22, 2017, the company was notified of a crash in West Virginia that happened on July 1, 2017, involving a 2006 Ford Ranger built in North America with a ruptured non-desiccated Takata driver-side inflator. Ford inspected the vehicle, confirmed that the inflator ruptured, resulting in a driver fatality, and notified NHTSA. This is the second fatality reported to Ford due to a Takata inflator rupture. The prior fatality was reported in January 2016.

NHTSA also issued a news release pertaining to the recall, asking the media and the public to help spread the word to ensure that information about the recall reaches all affected owners. The agency asserted that its top priority is safety, and that its objective is that all high-risk airbags are tracked down and replaced immediately.

Remedy. Ford will notify owners, instructing them to not drive their vehicles, and dealers will replace the front driver side airbag inflator and/or the passenger's frontal airbag inflator with an alternate inflator, free of charge. Parts are available now, and dealers are prepared to get vehicles directly from customers, make permanent repairs that will resolve the safety risk, and provide a free interim loaner vehicle, if necessary. The recall is expected to begin January 16, 2018.

Contact information. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall is 18S02. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Companies: Ford Motor Co.

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