The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this morning issued an urgent public plea for owners of model-year 2006 Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series pickup trucks to have their Takata recall repairs completed immediately. Both models are under a "do not drive" warning for defective Takata airbags, which have faulty inflators that can explode upon airbag deployment under certain conditions, spraying shrapnel into the vehicle cabin that can strike and kill occupants; the issue has resulted in at least 13 deaths and 180 injuries in the U.S.
"NHTSA's No. 1 priority is making sure that everyone is safe on our roads," Heidi King, NHTSA's deputy administrator, said in a statement. "I cannot stress strongly enough the urgency of this recall — these airbags are dangerous. Every vehicle must be accounted for now."
According to the automakers, 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, have yet to receive the prescribed recall fix.
"Both Ford and Mazda have authorized their dealers to tow these vehicles free of charge so consumers can safely obtain the free repair," NHTSA stated.
Today's announcement was the second public plea this year for owners of these same affected models. The first came Feb. 12, when Ford and Mazda issued an expanded "do not drive" warning to include 2006 Rangers and B-Series pickups due to the results of new testing.
"These vehicles have defective Takata airbags that are an immediate risk to safety," NHTSA stated in the February warning. "Affected owners are urged not to drive these vehicles, and to contact Ford and Mazda immediately to schedule a free repair. Ford and Mazda have replacement airbags available now, and will tow vehicles to a local dealership for repair and provide loaner vehicles — all free of charge."
Many of the unrepaired vehicles are located in the following metropolitan areas, according to NHTSA:
- New York
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- Dallas-Fort Worth
- Washington, D.C.
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood
- San Diego
- Portland, Ore.
- Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif.
- San Antonio
- Austin, Texas
- West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, Fla.
- Knoxville, Tenn.
- Wilmington, Del.
- Puerto Rico
Unsure if your vehicle is under recall? Use NHTSA's vehicle identification number lookup tool to check for recalls. You can find your car's 17-character VIN on the lower left of the windshield or on your car's registration card. You can also sign up for email alerts if your vehicle is affected by a future recall.
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