Ford forced to recall 3 million vehicles with Takata airbags

Ford must recall 3 million older model vehicles with defective Takata airbags in the latest ruling from the NHTSA, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

The NHTSA denied petitions filed by Ford and Mazda in 2017 to avoid the sweeping recall of vehicles from the 2006 to 2012 model years. 

The largest automotive recall in history continues to expand years after first reports that defective Takata airbag inflators could rupture and shoot metal fragments into the head and chest of drivers and passengers. At least 18 people have been killed and 250 people injured in the U.S. because of the faulty inflators. The fatalities are higher globally. 

The initial recall in 2015 limited the problem to vehicles in states with high humidity. Eleven successive recalls, including the latest at the end of 2020, broadened the scope of the recall to an estimated 70 million vehicles affecting 19 automakers. 

The fallout continues. Japanese airbag supplier Takata went bankrupt, and automakers keep fighting—and losing—the NHTSA imposing a recall. In November 2020, the NHTSA forced GM to recall nearly 6 million full-size SUVs and pickup trucks. GM estimated the recall would cost them $1.2 billion worldwide.

Despite the widespread and unprecedented recall campaign, the NHTSA said that nearly 17 million vehicles have still not been fixed. 

The current recall might cover cars already recalled for passenger side airbags. The affected models include the Ford Ranger, Ford Edge, Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ, Lincoln MKX, and Mercury Milan. Two people died due to inflator ruptures in the 2006 Ford Ranger. 

Certain Mazda vehicles built by Ford during their partnership will also be recalled from the 2007-2009 model years. They encompass about 5,800 Mazda Trucks based on the Ford Ranger.  

We'll update this story once Ford provides specific details on models and model years affected by the latest recall.

In the meantime, owners can visit the NHTSA's Takata recall site or go to Ford's dedicated Takata airbag recall page. 

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