Ford warns against driving certain Rangers, after Takata air bag death

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Ford said yesterday it confirmed a second death in an older pickup truck due to a defective Takata air-bag inflater, Reuters reported.

The company urged 2,900 owners in North America to stop driving the trucks immediately until replacement parts are installed.

According to the automaker, a death in a July 2017 crash of a 2006 Ford Ranger in West Virginia was caused by a defective Takata inflater. The automaker had reported a similar death in South Carolina that occurred in December 2015.

According to Ford, both Takata deaths occurred with inflaters built on the same day and installed in 2006 Ranger pickups. The Takata inflaters have been linked to at least 21 deaths worldwide.

The inflaters are known to rupture sending deadly metal fragments into the driver’s body.

Besides the 2,700 vehicles in the US the recall affects nearly 200 vehicles in Canada.

A Mazda spokeswoman said Thursday that 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.

Meanwhile, a federal judge has given the nod for creditors of auto supplier Takata to vote on the bankrupt company’s Chapter 11 plan, Reuters said in a separate report.

The Japanese company filed for bankruptcy in June amid a massive recall of its defective airbags, which can explode and send metal shards flying in all directions.

According to Reuters, during a hearing on Wednesday, the judge considered disclosures by Takata’s US entity, TK Holdings, which detailed the company’s proposed reorganisation plans.

According to commentators, the company’s plan is more favourable to automakers than car owners, as it would establish a trust to compensate those injured by the airbags, but prevent lawsuits against automakers who contribute to the trust arrangement, according to the wire service.

A hearing is set for 13 February in Wilmington, Delaware, to determine whether the proposal is equitable and would meet other legal requirements.

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