US orders Ford to recall 3m cars with Takata airbags

The Takata airbag recall saga seems so long ago, but it’s actually not over yet. Contrary to popular belief, Japanese carmakers weren’t the only ones supplied by Takata, one of the biggest airbag vendors in the world. The Detroit carmakers used Takata too, and they’ve been trying to resist the authorities’ effort to get them to issue recalls.

Now, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has said that Ford must recall three million vehicles with potentially defective driver-side Takata airbags, rejecting a bid by the Blue Oval to avoid the inconvenience, Reuters reports.

Ford and Mazda filed petitions in 2017 seeking to avoid recalling vehicles with potentially dangerous airbag inflators, which forced the likes of Honda, Toyota and Nissan to recall millions of cars globally. NHTSA has now denied the petition, which means that Mazda will also have to recall around 5,800 units. The Ford/Mazda recall will cover cars from model years 2006 to 2012.

In rare instances, when the potentially defective airbag inflators are exposed long term to high humidity, they may rupture and shoot out shards of metal fragments. According to the wire report, Takata inflators have resulted in the deaths of at least 27 people worldwide (including Malaysia) and 18 in the US, and over 400 reported injuries.

The scary possibility kicked off the largest automotive recall in history involving more than 67 million inflators in the US alone. Worldwide, about 100 million inflators installed by 19 automakers have been recalled. The US auto safety regulator said the “evidence makes clear that these inflators pose a significant safety risk”. Earlier this year, it said at least 17 million vehicles with the affected airbags are yet to be repaired. Even in Malaysia, some inflators have not been replaced yet.

NHTSA said Ford must “submit to NHTSA a proposed schedule for the notification of vehicle owners and the launch of a remedy” within 30 days.

Ford has said that the vehicles NHTSA is ordering it to recall were subject to an earlier recall for the passenger-side airbag. This recall will apply to various Ford Ranger, Fusion, Edge, Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKX vehicles, along with Mazda 2007–2009 model year B-Series trucks. The latter was designed and built by Ford, and used the same airbag inflators as the Ranger.

It was reported that two people died in Takata airbag ruptures in previously recalled 2006 Ford Ranger pick-ups, with the most recent death happening in 2017.

The Blue Oval isn’t alone on this. In November last year, the NHTSA said it was rejecting a petition filed by fellow Detroit carmaker General Motors to avoid the recall of 5.9 million 2007-2014 model year Takata-equipped vehicles in the US. Its hand forced, GM then said it would recall seven million vehicles worldwide.

The post US orders Ford to recall 3m cars with Takata airbags appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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