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Ford, Mazda Expand Urgent “Do Not Drive” Warning

February 12, 2018 0 Comments

Ford Motor Company on Monday expanded its urgent “do not drive” warning to an additional 33,000 pickup truck owners in North America. The initial warning applied to some 2,900 2006 Ford Ranger pickup truck owners, and Ford urged drivers to stop using the trucks until they were repaired.

90 percent of the vehicles under the “do not drive” warning are in the U.S.

The automaker issued the warning, related to potentially defective Takata Corp. airbag inflators, after a second death was linked to defective inflators built on the same day.

Additional testing prompted the expanded warning, Ford said in a statement, which also covers a broader production time frame.

According to the NHTSA, Mazda Motor Corp. is issuing a similar expansion covering some 2006 Mazda B-series trucks built by Ford.

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The agency said the vehicles pose “an immediate risk to safety” and asked owners to schedule a free repair immediately.

“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,” Ford said.

In January, two U.S. senators questioned why Ford’s “do not drive” warning only applied to small percentage of the 391,000 Ranger trucks (2004-2006 model years) recalled for Takata airbags in 2016 in the U.S.

Last month, Ford said that a July 2017 crash death in West Virginia (2006 Ford Ranger) was caused by a defective Takata inflator. It was the second death in a Ford vehicle, after a similar 2015 death in South Carolina attributed to a defective inflator.Driving-Sales-Automotive-News-Ford-Mazda-Expand-Urgent-Do-Not-Drive-Warning-Takata-Airbag-Recall

There have been at least 22 deaths worldwide linked to Takata inflators. The other 20 deaths occurred in Honda Motor Co. vehicles, mostly in the U.S.

According to Ford, about 25 percent of the initial 2,900 vehicles have been repaired.

In June 2017, Takata said it had recalled (or expected to recall) some 125 million vehicles across the world by 2019, including over 60 million in the U.S., making it the largest automotive recall in history. 19 automakers were affected by the recall.

The airbag inflators can explode with “excessive force,” which in turn can send deadly metal shrapnel flying in cars and trucks. The issue has injured over 200 people and let Takata to file for bankruptcy protection in June last year.

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