Automaker Ford Motor Co. is required by the U.S. auto safety regulator to recall around 3 million vehicles to remove potentially defective Takata air bag inflators, multiple reports said.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA has also asked Mazda Motor Corp. to recall about 5,800 vehicles from 2006 through 2012 model years for the same issues. The affected Ford vehicles are from 2006 to 2011, including Ford Ranger and Fusion.
The development comes after the agency rejected requests from the automakers to avoid recalling vehicles that comes with potentially dangerous Takata air bag inflators.
Takata had used volatile ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to fill air bags in a crash. But the chemical can deteriorate when exposed to heat and humidity and explode with too much force, blowing apart a metal canister and spewing shrapnel.
As per reports, Ford and Mazda’s vehicles in the potential recall have a moisture-absorbing chemical in the inflators that make them safe. However, the NHTSA disagreed and denied the petition to avoid the recall.
The companies will now get 30 days to give the regulator a schedule to inform owners and begin the recalls.
The airbag inflators have caused the death of around 18 people in the U.S., and injuries to around 400 people. The issues have resulted in the biggest auto recall in the U.S. history, with around 19 vehicle manufacturers recalling millions of vehicles so far.
In November, General Motors was forced to recall 5.9 million vehicles in the U.S. to remove Takata air bag inflators after NHTSA denied its request to exclude certain trucks and SUVs from the recalls.
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