NHTSA Again Warns Drivers Of Open Takata Airbag Recalls Following Another Death

Takata-produced airbags have been the subject of an open recall spanning several years and millions of vehicles over virtually every make and model of car. It's one of the largest ongoing recalls in history, and more cars, trucks, and SUVs are getting added to the list as investigators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and manufacturers try to find the source of the problem. 

According to the NHTSA, recalls are due to a defect in the airbag's inflator mechanism, causing it to violently explode and potentially injure or kill the driver or other occupants of the vehicle. The explosion can be triggered by even low-speed crashes, and the age of the vehicle seems to be a significant factor, per the NHTSA. Fortunately for drivers, the repair is free to get fixed at the vehicle's respective dealership, and most shops are well-versed in how to rectify the issue. 

Unfortunately, the recent bout of recalls is due to yet another fatality stemming from a faulty Takata airbag.

Here's what to do

According to the NHTSA, the driver of a 2006 Ford Ranger was recently killed when the side airbag exploded after a crash. The administration further reports that the specific Ranger in the crash was already under a "do not drive" order stemming from an earlier recall that covered Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series trucks, as both of those models are mechanically near-identical. 

The NHTSA is urging owners to check as soon as possible if their vehicle has any open airbag recalls and to get it fixed right away. Ann Carlson, the NHTSA's acting administrator, adds: "We need everyone to check right now for open Takata recalls — and if you have one, to schedule an appointment at your dealership immediately for a repair. Every day that passes when you don't get a recalled airbag replaced puts you and your family at greater risk of injury or death. Don't let an open recall cost you or your passengers your lives."

The process to check for recalls is thankfully simple; drivers are urged to plug their VIN into the NHTSA's online tool which will check for any open recalls.