The U.S. auto safety regulator said on Tuesday that Ford Motor Co. would require a recall of 3 million vehicles with potentially defective Takata airbags and reject a bid from the second-largest US automaker to prevent them from calling back.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it denied petitions filed by Ford and Mazda Motor Corp. in which the automakers tried to prevent the recall of vehicles with potentially dangerous inflators. The decision also requires Mazda to recall and repair driver airbags in approximately 5,800 vehicles. The recalls concern various vehicles from the 2006 to 2012 model years.
The defect, which in rare cases leads to the rupture of airbag inflators and the flying of potentially lethal metal fragments – especially after prolonged exposure to high humidity – triggered the largest recall in US history of more than 67 million inflators. Globally, about 100 million inflators installed by 19 major car manufacturers have been recalled.
NHTSA said the "evidence makes clear that these inflators pose a significant security risk."
Earlier this month, the auto safety agency said at least 17 million vehicles with Takata airbags have not yet been repaired.
Takata inflators have resulted in the deaths of at least 27 people worldwide and 18 in the United States, and more than 400 reported injuries,
Ford and Mazda did not immediately comment.
The vehicles that will be recalled include several Ford Ranger, Fusion, Edge, Lincoln Zephyr / MKZ, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKX vehicles, as well as Mazda B series models from model year 2007-2009.
Two people died in Takata airbag rips in 2006 Ford Ranger vehicles with the most recent death in 2017. Those vehicles were previously recalled.
In November, NHTSA said it was filing a petition from General Motors Co. to avoid the recall of 5.9 million US vehicles with Takata airbags.
NHTSA said in November that GM must recall the 2007-2014 model year trucks and SUVs because the inflators "risk the same kind of explosion as other recalled Takata inflators after prolonged exposure to high heat and humidity."
GM estimated in securities files that it would cost $ 1.2 billion to replace the airbag inflators it had tried to keep from being fixed, and said it would recall 7 million vehicles worldwide.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; edited by Leslie Adler, Dan Grebler and Richard Pullin)
The most important insurance news, delivered to your inbox every working day.
Receive the trusted newsletter from the insurance industry