Just when you thought that the Takata ordeal was over, US regulators announced a new recall of about 5 million vehicles which may carry the potential harmful airbags.
The new action covers some vehicles not previously affected by the scandal, bringing the number of units recalled to 28 million, with 24 million vehicles affected in the United States – according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Apparently, this move was partly prompted by the death of a man in South Carolina after he hit a cow in his 2006 Ford Ranger pick-up, and metal from a ruptured inflator penetrated his neck when the airbags deployed. The incident occurred last month, on December 22, bringing the total death toll to nine people in the United States.
Moreover, Reuters reports that this is the first time it happened in a non-Honda vehicle, and that the 5 million units covered by the new recalls for inflators in driver-side airbags include about 1 million units with systems similar to those installed on the Ranger.
“We are saddened to hear about the driver’s death and offer our sincere condolences to the family of the driver,” Ford spokesman John Cavangany told Autonews in an e-mail. “We are working with the agency to review the available information, but we have very limited information at this point. If we find an issue with our vehicles, we take prompt action to address customer safety.”
NTHSA also stated that approximately 4 million other vehicles will be recalled due to additional testing on Takata driver-side air bags, including models from Honda and VW.
This comes after twelve other automakers have previously recalled more than 23 million Takata airbag inflators in more than 19 million vehicles, making this action one of the largest safety recalls ever.