Ford recalled almost 400,000 Ford Rangers (2004-2006) due to the risk of injury or death from exploding Takata airbags. Ford rejoined the massive Takata airbag recall after shrapnel from the airbag inflator impaled a man when his 2006 Ranger hit a cow.
This the 10th death attributed to the airbag malfunction; over 100 people have suffered injuries.
What is going wrong with Takata airbag inflators?
To understand what is wrong with the Takata airbag inflators, you must first understand how they work.
In a crash, the airbag inflator creates a small and contained explosion that releases gas which inflates the airbag. In order to create the explosion, Takata uses ammonium nitrate. Unfortunately, in high heat and humid conditions, the chemical deteriorates and burns too quickly, resulting in the inflator exploding.
Why is it newsworthy?
Simply put, this is a dangerous condition affecting many vehicles and manufacturers and Ford's recall may not be the last one. In order to gain some perspective, the recall affects as many as 24 million vehicles from 14 manufacturers in total. This is a massive problem and one that all drivers need to be aware of so they can determine whether they have potentially dangerous issues with their cars.
How do I know if the recall affects my car?
Ford has created a plan to notify vehicle owners in writing beginning on or around February 22, 2016. You can go to www.Ford.com and select "Safety Recalls" before entering your vehicle identification number. Ford has also created a "Frequently Asked Questions" page in relation to the Takata airbag inflator problem. You can also go to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recall page and check if your car is on the list.
Is my car safe to drive?
Ford is going to replace the airbag inflator in all affected vehicles; however, apparently there are not currently enough parts for all the cars that require replacement. Ford encourages drivers to have a dealer repair their vehicles as soon as parts are available.
In the interim, however, Ford’s website stated that in May 2015, a NHTSA Administrator said that owners should continue to drive the vehicles until replacement parts are available. Customers should not disable their airbags.
Vehicles maintained in areas of high heat and humidity have priority for replacement in the recall. There are specific priority vehicle identifications on the NHTSA Takata recall page.
If you feel unsafe operating your vehicle, do not drive and consider renting a car or using public transportation until you can have a dealer repair your vehicle.
If you or someone you care about sustained serious or fatal injuries because of a problem with a Takata airbag inflator in a Ford vehicle, talk to an Atlanta car accident attorney from the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. Contact us today at 404-474-0804.