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The Takata air bag recall

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U.S. rejects Ford, Mazda petitions to delay recall of Takata airbags

Reuters  /  November 17, 2017

WASHINGTON -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Friday it was rejecting a petition by Ford Motor Co. to delay recall of about 3 million vehicles with potentially defective airbag inflators to conduct additional testing.

The agency said it did not find the request by Ford to defer a recall until additional testing was conducted "reasonable under the circumstances or supported by the testing and data it has collected to date."

Takata inflators can explode with excessive force, unleashing metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks. At least 18 deaths and 180 injuries worldwide have been tied to the defect that led Takata Corp. to file for bankruptcy protection in June and prompted at least 19 automakers to issue recalls.

NHTSA also rejected a similar petition filed by Mazda Motor Co. covering about 6,000 vehicles.

Mazda said in a statement it "takes our customers' safety as a single-minded top priority and continues to work hand-in-hand with NHTSA."

The public can comment on NHTSA's decision until Dec. 18 on both Ford and Mazda's petitions. Mazda said it would "provide further information once NHTSA issues its final determination."

Ford did not immediately say if it plans to challenge the agency's decision. "We will cooperate with the agency, as we always do," a spokeswoman said. The vehicles in question include the 2007-11 Ford Ranger, 2006-12 Fusion and Lincoln MKZ, 2006-11 Mercury Milan, and 2007-10 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX.

In June, NHTSA said new testing prompted Takata to declare inflators defective in Ford, Nissan Motor Co. and Mazda vehicles in some driver-side airbags. Nissan agreed to a recall of 515,000 vehicles in July.

NHTSA did agree in 2016 to a request by General Motors to delay a recall of 2.5 million vehicles with Takata airbag inflators as the Detroit automaker conducts additional testing to determine if the vehicles should have replacement inflators.

Separately, a report issued Friday by an independent monitor of the Takata recalls said more than 10 million U.S. vehicles and 18.5 million faulty Takata airbag inflators remain unrepaired under the largest ever auto safety recall.

Takata said in June that it has recalled, or expected to recall, about 125 million vehicles worldwide by 2019, including more than 60 million in the United States.

The report said there are 43.1 million Takata airbag inflators under recall in 31.5 million vehicles today, with the tally to be expanded to about 65 million inflators by the end of 2018. Of those, 24.6 million inflators in 20 million vehicles have been repaired, the report found.

In 2019, another 4.1 million vehicles will be recalled to replace interim repair inflators.

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Ford urges 2,900 pickup owners to stop driving after new Takata death

Reuters  /  January 11, 2018

WASHINGTON -- Ford Motor Co. said Thursday it had confirmed a second death in an older pickup truck caused by a defective Takata airbag inflator and urged 2,900 owners in North America to stop driving immediately until they can get replacement parts.

The second largest U.S. automaker said it confirmed in late December that a July 2017 crash death in West Virginia in a 2006 Ford Ranger was caused by a defective Takata inflator. It previously reported a similar death in South Carolina that occurred in December 2015.

Ford said both Takata deaths occurred with inflators built on the same day installed in 2006 Ranger pickups. At least 21 deaths worldwide are linked to the Takata inflators that can rupture and send deadly metal fragments into the driver's body. The faulty inflators have led to the largest automotive recall in history. The other 19 deaths have occurred in Honda Motor Co. vehicles, most of which were in the United States.

Ford issued a new recall for automobiles that had been previously recalled in 2016. Of those 391,000 2004-2006 Ranger vehicles, the new recall announced on Thursday affects 2,900 vehicles. These include 2,700 in the United States and nearly 200 in Canada. The new recall will allow for identification of the 2,900 owners in the highest risk pool.

A Mazda Motor Corp. spokeswoman said Thursday the company would conduct a similar recall and stop drive warning for some 2006 Mazda B-series trucks, which were built by Ford and are similar to the Ranger.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urged owners to heed Ford's warning. "It is extremely important that all high-risk air bags are tracked down and replaced immediately," NHTSA spokeswoman Karen Aldana said.

Ford said it would pay to have vehicles towed to dealerships or send mobile repair teams to owners' homes and provide free loaners if needed.

Takata said in June that it has recalled, or expected to recall, about 125 million vehicles worldwide by 2019, including more than 60 million in the United States. Some 19 automakers worldwide are impacted.

Takata inflators can explode with excessive force, unleashing metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks and have injured more than 200. The defect led Takata to file for bankruptcy protection in June. Chinese-owned supplier Key Safety Systems Inc. has purchased Takata's viable assets out of bankruptcy court. 

Criminal charges

In 2017, prosecutors in Detroit charged three former senior Takata executives with falsifying test results to conceal the inflator defect. None have come to the United States to face charges.

Last year, Takata pleaded guilty to wire fraud and were subject to pay a total of $1 billion in criminal penalties in a U.S. court in connection with the recalls. 

Automakers have struggled to get enough replacement parts for the massive recalls. A November NHTSA report said about two-thirds of U.S. vehicles recalled have not yet been repaired.

U.S. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said in a statement on Thursday the latest death is evidence of "the very definition of a failed recall" pointing to the earlier Ford death in 2015. NHTSA must do more, he said, to make the recall a priority.

In November, NHTSA rejected a petition from Ford to delay recalling 3 million vehicles with potentially defective airbag inflators to conduct additional testing.

In June 2016, NHTSA warned airbag inflators on more than 300,000 unrepaired recalled 2001-2003 model year Honda vehicles showed a substantial risk of rupturing, and urged owners to stop driving them until getting them fixed. NHTSA said they have as high as a 50 percent chance of a rupture in a crash.

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  I've received recall notices for the airbags on my 2007 Ranger but they state that the parts are not available and that I will be notified when the parts are in.  In July, 2017, I received a flaming orange

  postcard from Ford telling me that I have been notified about the airbag recall and why haven't I had it fixed yet (basically yelling at me for waiting for a notice that never came). I called my local

  Ford dealer, where I had purchased the truck in 2007, and the service rep told me that he parts are not in and to ignore the postcard. Just sitting here waiting for another postcard yelling at me for

  not having the truck repaired with non-existent parts.

                             bulldogboy

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Ford faces questions from U.S. senators over 'do not drive' warning

Reuters  /  January 18, 2018

WASHINGTON -- Two senators asked the Transportation Department on Thursday to explain why a "do not drive" directive issued last week by Ford Motor Co. is limited to about 2,900 older pickup trucks and if other vehicles are potentially at risk from defective airbag inflators.

The company said it had confirmed a second death in a 2006 Ford Ranger caused by a faulty Takata Corp. airbag inflator and urged some owners to stop driving immediately until they can get replacement parts.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should "swiftly and proactively address the deadly defect in Takata airbags and provide consumers with appropriate notice regarding the defect’s serious potential risk to life," wrote Senators Richard Blumenthal and Edward Markey, both Democrats, to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

Ford said both deaths in 2006 Ranger pickups occurred with inflators built on the same day. In a recall notice filed with NHTSA, Ford said data from the two incidents and an anomalous test all occurred with inflators from the same propellant production lot. The recall applies to Ford Rangers with inflators built on two days in September 2005, the company said.

A NHTSA spokeswoman declined to immediately comment on the letter. Ford spokeswoman Elizabeth Weigandt said the automaker is "still investigating the issue with these inflators."

At least 21 deaths worldwide are linked to the Takata inflators that can rupture and send deadly metal fragments into the driver’s body. The faulty inflators have led to the largest automotive recall in history. The other 19 deaths have occurred in Honda Motor Co. vehicles, most of which were in the United States.

Ford issued a separate recall for trucks previously recalled in 2016. Of those 391,000 2004-06 Ranger vehicles, last week's recall affects 2,900 vehicles in North America, most in the United States. The company is paying to tow vehicles to dealerships for repairs and providing free loaners.

The senators want NHTSA to require the same "do not drive" warning for all previously recalled Rangers unless Ford can explain why they do not pose the same heightened risk.

Mazda Motor Corp. issued a similar recall and stop drive warning for 160 2006 Mazda B-Series trucks, which were built by Ford.

Takata said in a statement it "strongly urges vehicle owners to check" to see if vehicles have been recalled. NHTSA also urged owners to heed Ford's warning.

Takata said it would recall, or expects to recall, about 125 million vehicles from 19 automakers worldwide by 2019, including more than 60 million in the United States.

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Ford, Mazda expand 'do not drive' warning to additional pickups

Reuters  /  February 12, 2018

WASHINGTON -- Ford Motor Co said Monday it is expanding an urgent warning to another 33,000 owners of older pickups in North America not to drive them until they get repairs because of a potentially defective Takata Corp. airbag inflator.

Ford in January had urged 2,900 owners of 2006 Ford Ranger pickups to stop driving immediately until they can get replacement parts after a second death was linked to inflators built on the same day.

The expansion of the warning was prompted by additional testing, the company said in a statement, and now covers a broader timeframe of production.

Mazda Motor Corp. said it was issuing a similar expansion for about 1,800 2006 Mazda B-series trucks that were built by Ford after it had issued a warning for 160 trucks in January.

NHTSA said the vehicles pose “an immediate risk to safety” and asked owners to immediately schedule a free repair.

Ford and Mazda have replacement airbag inflators available now and will tow vehicles to a dealership for repair, and provide loaner vehicles free of charge, the companies and agency said. About 90 percent of the vehicles subject to the "do not drive" warning are in the United States.

Two U.S. senators in January questioned why Ford’s warning applied only to a small number of the 391,000 2004-06 Ranger trucks recalled for Takata airbags in 2016 in the United States.

Ford said last month a July 2017 crash death in West Virginia in a 2006 Ford Ranger was caused by a defective Takata inflator after a similar 2015 death in South Carolina.

At least 22 deaths worldwide are linked to the Takata inflators that can rupture and send deadly metal fragments into the driver’s body. The faulty inflators have led to the largest automotive recall in history. The other 20 deaths have occurred in Honda Motor Co. vehicles, most of which were in the United States.

About a quarter of the 2,900 vehicles have been repaired since Ford issued the warning last month, the company said Monday.

Takata in June said that it has recalled, or expected to recall, about 125 million vehicles worldwide by 2019, including more than 60 million in the United States. About 19 automakers worldwide are affected.

Takata inflators can explode with excessive force, unleashing metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks and have injured more than 200 people. The defect led Takata to file for bankruptcy protection in June.

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Ford to Pay $299.1 Million to Settle Takata Consumer Lawsuit

Bloomberg  /  July 16, 2018

Ford Motor Co. has agreed to pay $299.1 million to settle consumers’ economic-loss claims connected to Takata Corp. air-bag recalls.

The settlement, filed in federal court in Miami Monday, reimburses consumers for out-of-pocket expenses and provides free loaners for owners or lessees of Ford vehicles who are waiting for their air bags to be fixed, according to the pact. The settlement will also increase outreach efforts to find consumers whose vehicles still have defective air bags.

Ford is the latest automaker to settle the economic loss claims, following a $533 million agreement last year by Toyota Motor Corp., Subaru Corp., Mazda Motor Corp. and BMW AG and a separate pact by Nissan Motor Co. for $98 million.

General Motors Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Volkswagen AG and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz continue to litigate these claims, plaintiffs’ lawyers said in a statement Monday.

The massive Takata air-bag recalls, the largest in history, led to the company filing for bankruptcy in 2017 and spurred lawsuits by consumers and accident victims. The air bags can malfunction and send shards of metal at drivers and passengers. Monday’s settlement doesn’t cover personal injury or wrongful death claims.

The consumers sued the automakers and Takata claiming they incurred economic losses, including costs of renting vehicles, while waiting for air bags to be replaced. The Ford settlement will cover about 6 million vehicles and requires court approval.

“These settlements are proving to be vital in protecting consumers from dangerous Takata airbags,” Peter Prieto, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, said in a statement.

“We remain focused on working with our customers to get their vehicles repaired,” Elizabeth Weigandt, a Ford spokeswoman, said in an email Monday. “Parts are available for all of the Ford vehicles in priority groups one through three, and we urge customers to contact their dealer immediately for free repairs.”

The case is In re: Takata Airbag Product Liability Litigation, 15-md-02599, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (Miami).

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it would be a lot nicer of them to actually get the parts to replace the defective air bags. my 87 year old parents are in a car with no airbags because there are no replacement parts available to fix their car. 

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The frontal airbag was promoted by Nader as an attempt to offer some crash protection to drivers and passengers too dumb to use a seat belt. Having used seat belts from the 60s I've been forced to pay for air bags I don't need in four new vehicles so far. Now that those mandated frontal air bags are explosively failing and with 90% of drivers using the shoulder harnesses, they should become an extra cost option on new vehicles and those of us who wish to have these worthless frontal airbags removed from our current vehicles should be able to have that done for free and be reimbursed for the initial cost of these unwanted impositions on our vehicles.

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On 7/17/2018 at 6:04 AM, tjc transport said:

it would be a lot nicer of them to actually get the parts to replace the defective air bags. my 87 year old parents are in a car with no airbags because there are no replacement parts available to fix their car. 

I don't own any vehicles with air bags...except for the Mack, but those are all in the suspension.  I'm perfectly OK with that, too.

  • Haha 1

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i agree Rowdy.

my 2014 pickup has them, but they are disabled. 

everything else i own is old enough to not have those silly things because they are actually made of steel, not plastic like newer cars. 

 

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Ksb, I stand corrected! as I see many cars to date without DRLs it make sense they aren't required equipment!

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4 hours ago, BillyT said:

Ksb, I stand corrected! as I see many cars to date without DRLs it make sense they aren't required equipment!

DRL's are a regional thing.

Canada requires them.

US does not for now. .but some states do require them. 

 

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Actually air bags are very important...they keep a lot of lawyers rolling in the money!!

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On 1/13/2018 at 2:16 AM, bulldogboy said:

  I've received recall notices for the airbags on my 2007 Ranger but they state that the parts are not available and that I will be notified when the parts are in.  In July, 2017, I received a flaming orange postcard from Ford telling me that I have been notified about the airbag recall and why haven't I had it fixed yet (basically yelling at me for waiting for a notice that never came). I called my local

 Ford dealer, where I had purchased the truck in 2007, and the service rep told me that he parts are not in and to ignore the postcard. Just sitting here waiting for another postcard yelling at me for not having the truck repaired with non-existent parts.

 bulldogboy

Ford offers dealers $1,000 bonuses to fix recalled Rangers

Michael Martinez, Automotive News  /  August 7, 2018

Ford Motor Co. is offering its U.S. dealers $1,000 for every 2006 Ranger covered by a “do not drive” warning that they find and fix, a company spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The affected vehicles were built with potentially defective Takata Corp. airbag inflators. Ford in February expanded the "do not drive" warning to include 36,330 of the pickups, although the number was later revised to 33,320.

Ford spokeswoman Elizabeth Weigandt said the automaker has accounted for or repaired about 75 percent of the recalled Rangers and decided to take "additional, unprecedented measures" by offering dealers incentives to find the remaining trucks. Ford told retailers they can earn $1,000 for each Ranger they locate and repair.

"We want to get to these vehicles as quickly as we can," she told Automotive News. "We just don’t want our customers driving these vehicles at all."

The affected Rangers were built from August through December 2005 at Ford's now-shuttered Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul, Minn.

The defective inflators can explode with excessive force, unleashing metal shrapnel inside vehicles. The problem led to the largest automotive recall in history and forced Takata to file for bankruptcy protection in June 2017.

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Yay, I had my 2007 Ranger's passenger side airbag activator replaced today!!!!

bulldogboy

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GM seeks continued exemption from Takata airbag recalls

Sarah Kominek, Automotive News  /  June 20, 2019

General Motors filed a petition with NHTSA for the fourth straight year to avoid recalling millions of vehicles with Takata airbag inflators.

The petition was posted in the Federal Register on Wednesday by NHTSA but was originally filed by GM on Jan. 11, 2019. The automaker requested the administration exempt GM from recalls that would require the company to replace the airbag inflators in more than 6 million trucks and SUVs. 

In a 2015 agreement with the U.S. government, Takata declared GM's front passenger inflators defective. Takata eventually filed for bankruptcy and in 2018 its safety products business was acquired for $1.6 billion by Chinese-owned Key Safety Systems, which has since renamed the business Joyson Safety Systems.

At least 24 fatalities and about 200 injuries have been blamed on the Japanese company's malfunctioning airbag inflators, which exploded during accidents and spread shrapnel into passenger compartments.

After NHTSA extended rulings on previous petitions, GM said it investigated and analyzed long-term performance of the inflators and found they "do not present an unreasonable risk to safety."

GM said in the recent petition that the Takata inflators provided to the automaker "are not used by any other original equipment manufacturer" and are safe because of their unique design features.

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Posted (edited)

Buy all the government surplus flak jackets from the Vietnam era. Put cool GM emblems all over them. Have a famous, beautiful, model walk down the catwalk wearing one. Popularize the fashion and send them to Takata customers with a pair of designer safety glasses called “GM performance driving glasses”. That way tax payers won’t have to bail them out again and pay for someone else’s air bag recall. 

Edited by Mack Technician

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