TAKATA AIRBAGS CONTINUE TO TAKE LIVESFord Ranger Driver's Death Links Takata Airbags To First Non-Honda Vehicle
The U.S. government will recall about 5 million additional vehicles with potentially defective Takata airbags, Reuters reports. The new recall comes in response to a Ford Ranger driver who was allegedly killed by flying metal shrapnel from a Takata airbag’s inflator.
Although regulators haven’t released a specific group of models affected by the recall, the campaign will include 1 million vehicles that use the type of inflator similar to the one on the Ford Ranger. The remaining 4 million vehicles will include models from other automakers including Honda and Volkswagen Group, based on additional testing performed on Takata airbags. Mercedes-Benz will also be involved in the Takata airbag recall for the first time.
“This is a massive safety crisis,” NHTSA spokesman Gordon Trowbridge told the media.
The Ford truck fatality marks the 10th death linked to Takata airbags worldwide, although all the other previous deaths have occurred in vehicles made by Honda. The now-deceased man was driving a 2006 Ford Ranger when he struck a cow in the middle of the road. Then, the airbag inflator exploded and sent metal shrapnel into the his neck, according to a complaint filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
As a result of today’s news, the Takata recall now tallies up to 28 million vehicles worldwide. In the U.S. alone, it’s expected to reach as high as 24 million.
Needless to say, the recent developments only add to Takata’s troubles. Late last year, NHTSA slapped Takata with the largest civil penalty in its history. Many have questioned whether Takata will be able to survive the crisis, including the company’s own CEO.