Ford is expanding its recall of Ranger pickup trucks in the United States to include more defective airbags from Takata following a deadly accident in Malaysia that revealed a previously unknown glitch. Aside from the passenger airbags, Ford will also now replace driver’s-side airbags in the affected model years -- MY2004-2005 -- according to a statement by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Ford’s decision to expand the recall came after NHTSA conducted a review to determine which US cars have installed airbags similar to one in a Honda Motor Co. vehicle that got involved in fatal crash in Malaysia four months ago. Under the expanded recall, both the front and passenger airbags in the Rangers will be returned to Takata for testing.
US regulators have focused their eyes on Takata’s airbag after defects were found to cause an explosion, thereby sending metal shrapnel into drivers and front-seat passengers.
This year alone, 10 carmakers have recalled over 11 million vehicles in the US that have the defective airbags, according to numbers by Reuters. NHTSA deputy administrator David Friedman said in a statement that the agency is “aggressively investigating” Takata airbags from all affected carmakers and is looking at all of the angles.
According to the NHTSA summary, Takata it does not know of any incidents involving drivers-side airbag ruptures in the Ford Ranger. The airbag involved in the Malaysia crash has been traced to a now-closed site in LaGrange, Ga.
The NHTSA summary also shows that the agency knew of the Malaysia crash in September. Takata has told NHTSA probers that the airbag involved in the crash weren’t fitted in vehicles bound for the US.
NHTSA noted that the Ford Ranger is the only US vehicle having an airbag similar to the one in the Malaysia crash. Earlier this year, Ford issued an airbag recall of the Ranger, along with the 2005-2007 Mustang and the 2005-2006 GT sports car.