The massive Takata airbag recall that has claimed millions of vehicles worldwide has reportedly been hit with another two fatalities, both of them in Ford Ranger pickups, resulting in Ford speeding up its recall of 2006 Rangers.
The incidents in question happened roughly a year-and-a-half apart, with the second incident on July 1, 2017 in West Virginia involving a 2006 Ranger built in North America, and fitted with a non-desiccated Takata driver airbag. Ford inspected the vehicle at the end of 2017 (Ford was made aware of the crash just prior to Christmas) and reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that the fatality was the result of the Takata inflator rupture.
As it turned out, the vehicle was equipped with a Takata airbag module built the same day as the previous fatality in another 2006 Ranger, in January 2016.
Ford issued a statement offering sincere condolences to the drivers’ families and friends, also saying it is taking the incidents very seriously and regarding the vehicles names in this recall as posing a higher risk to driver safety in the event of a crash.
The company is requesting that owners stop driving their vehicles and make arrangements to immediately have a dealer replace the airbag modules, with dealers prepared to come get the vehicles directly from customers and leaving them with a loaner vehicle, if necessary.
The recall affects 2,902 Ranger pickups (2,712 in the US and federalized territories, and 190 in Canada) built at Ford’s Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul, Minnesota. The plant began operations in 1912 and closed in 2011, and has since been completely demolished.
Customers can look up their vehicles’ identification numbers (VIN) online to see if it is one of the pickups named in the recall. The vehicles in question were built between Aug. 10 and Dec. 15, in 2005.