(New York) The United States Transportation Safety Authority (NHTSA) said on Tuesday it had ordered automaker Ford to recall around 3 million vehicles in the United States over a problem with airbags manufactured by the late Japanese company Takata.
The NHTSA also asked Mazda to recall, for the same reason, 5,800 vehicles, according to a message sent to AFP.
The agency initiated these recalls in 2017 following a thorough examination of airbag inflators installed on certain models and manufactured between 2005 and 2012.
But Ford and Mazda had filed appeals to oppose it, considering that the fault in question did not directly affect the safety of the drivers and passengers of the vehicles concerned.
The NHTSA “concluded in both cases that the propellants of the airbag inflators in question show signs of degradation and present a risk of rupture,” the agency said in its message.
Both groups now have thirty days to indicate when they plan to notify owners of affected vehicles and repair them.
For Ford these are Ranger (2007 – 2011 model years), Fusion (2006 – 2012 model years), Lincoln Zephyr / MKZ (2006 – 2012 model years), Mercury Milan (2006 – 2012 model years) 2011), Edge (2007 – 2010 model years) and Lincoln MKX (2007 – 2010 model years).
The group did not immediately respond to a request from AFP.
For Mazda, this is B-Series vehicle from model years 2007 – 2009.
General Motors (GM) said in November that it would recall nearly 7 million vehicles worldwide for an issue with airbags manufactured by Takata following a similar NHTSA decision ordering it to recall 5, 9 million pickup trucks and SUVs in the United States.
Twenty people have died since 2013 in road accidents across the world linked to products sold by the late Japanese group, leading to the recall of at least 100 million vehicles of all brands.
Takata used a chemical agent, ammonium nitrate, to inflate the airbags in the event of an impact. But this product can deteriorate and explode in a dangerous way when exposed for a long time to heat or humidity, projecting fragments on the driver or passenger.
The defect, which Takata is accused of having concealed for a long time, was revealed by the American authorities in 2014.
The group, founded in 1933, did not survive this crisis and went bankrupt in June 2017.
In the United States, the recalls involved a total of 19 manufacturers and approximately 67 million airbag inflators on tens of millions of vehicles.