Mazda is re-recalling certain B-series pickup trucks to fix Takata airbags after identical Takata airbags in Ford Rangers killed two U.S. men in separate incidents.
The Hiroshima-based Japanese automaker says the latest recall affects about 160 B-Series pickup trucks. All of the vehicles were previously recalled to repair the driver-side Takata airbags; now the company says it’s urgent to replace the passenger-side front airbags in certain vehicles as well.
Takata airbag inflators are made with a highly volatile ammonium nitrate propellant that can cause the devices to deploy with deadly force in a collision. The airbag inflator is especially prone to degrade in vehicles driven in regions of high humidity, making recalls in the southern part of the U.S. even more urgent.
Mazda urges the public not to drive the affected vehicles until the Takata airbags are repaired.
Mazda’s B-Series pickup trucks are the same as Ford’s Ranger series pickup trucks in many ways. Both vehicles share a similar platform but are marketed under different names by Mazda and Ford. The Takata airbag assemblies are exactly the same in both the recalled Mazda and Ford pickup trucks.
Earlier this month, Ford and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued an urgent recall of certain model year 2006 Rangers after determining that a faulty Takata airbag was to blame for the death of a West Virginia man.
That man’s death was the second Takata airbag fatality to occur in a Ford Ranger.
The Takata airbag inflator in the West Virginia pickup truck was made on the same day as one that exploded and killed a South Carolina man driving a Ford Ranger in 2015.
Nissan, Ford, and other automakers affected by the Takata airbag recall are pushing the public to get their airbags repaired this winter because the heat and humidity of spring and summer increase the risk of malfunction.
At least 21 deaths have been blamed on defective Takata airbags worldwide. Besides the two Ford Ranger airbag deaths, all other Takata airbag deaths have occurred in Honda vehicles.
Mazda customers should call the company at 800-222-5500 to find out if their vehicle is affected by the recall. Customers may also enter their vehicle’s VIN in NHTSA’s recall website to see whether their vehicle is affected by the Takata airbag recall or other safety recalls.