The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued an urgent plea to owners of 2006 Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series pickup trucks who have not brought their vehicles in to have defective Takata airbags replaced to schedule the safety repair as soon as possible. Vehicles under recall for the faulty airbags are at risk of the airbag inflators rupturing upon airbag deployment in certain conditions, causing shrapnel to spray into the vehicle cabin and striking occupants, possibly injuring them or killing them. The Takata airbags are blamed for at least 13 deaths and 180 injuries in the U.S.
Both pickups are under a dramatic "do not drive" warning that instructs owners to park the affected vehicles and have them towed at the manufacturers' expense to the nearest dealership for repairs; that warning was first issued for Ford pickups and shortly thereafter for.
"NHTSA's number one priority is making sure that everyone is safe on our roads. I cannot stress strongly enough the urgency of this recall — these airbags are dangerous," said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King. "Every vehicle must be accounted for now."
According to the manufacturers, more than 14,000 of the impacted 2006 Ford Rangers and more than 1,200 of the affected Mazda B-Series pickups have been serviced. That leaves nearly 19,000, or roughly 56 percent, of the more than 33,000 Rangers, and nearly 1,000, or 45 percent, of the Mazda B-Series, on the road in of a fix.
Ford and Mazda have authorized their dealers to tow these vehicles free of charge so consumers can safely obtain the free repairs. For more information on this recall or to see if there are any recalls on your vehicle, go to Safercar.gov and plug in your vehicle identification number.