Air bag danger: Ford, Mazda add 35,000 pickups to do-not-drive list
Ford and Mazda are adding more than 35,000 pickup trucks in North America to a list of vehicles that should not be driven because they have Takata air bag inflators with a high risk of exploding.
The warning includes 33,428 Ranger and 1,955 Mazda B-Series small pickups from 2006 model year, according to both companies. Ford, which made the B-Series for Mazda, found test results showing that the trucks had inflators that ruptured or recorded high internal pressure readings, spokeswoman Elizabeth Weigandt said Monday.
The companies and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said dealers will tow the pickups to service bays to replace the faulty inflators and provide loaner vehicles. Parts for the repairs already are available.
Rangers added to the do-not-drive list were built between Aug. 5 and Dec. 15, 2005.
NHTSA, the government’s highway safety agency, said in a statement that pickups not covered by the do-not-drive warning are being scrutinized to see if they should get the same treatment. The agency has asked Ford, Mazda and Takata to focus testing on inflators built outside that 2005 production range “to ensure that other vehicles do not need to be included,” the statement said.
The agency urged owners of all the recalled Rangers and B-Series trucks to call a dealer and get repairs made now.
Takata uses ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate air bags. But the chemical can deteriorate and burn too fast, blowing apart metal canisters and hurling shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least 22 people have died and more than 180 have been hurt because of the problem.
The inflators also caused the largest series of automotive recalls in U.S. history. About 69 million inflators are being recalled in the U.S. and over 100 million worldwide are being recalled.
Last month Ford told 2,900 owners of the 2006 […]