[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) released the following statement today after the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a “do not drive” warning for 2006 Ford Rangers due to high-risk defective Takata airbags. Takata airbags have been ruled responsible for 21 deaths globally, including the December 2015 and July 2017 fatalities involving 2006 Ford Rangers. Although Ford recalled its 2004-2006 Ranger model in 2016 for their defective Takata airbags, these recalls were not identified as high-risk and were not accompanied with a “do not drive” instruction.
“This do not drive instruction is shamefully overdue. It is inexcusable that it took NHTSA over two years since the first fatality involving 2006 Ford Rangers to take this essential step to protect vehicle owners, passengers, and drivers who share the same roads. NHTSA must immediately take steps to identify exactly why defective Takata airbags in 2006 Ford Rangers pose a heightened risk to consumers, and determine if the same risk factors may be present in other vehicle models and years that have defective Takata airbags. Anything less will amount to negligence,” said Blumenthal.
Blumenthal has long called for “do not drive” instructions for vehicles with high-risk defective Takata airbags. In 2016, Blumenthal and U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) called on Honda to incorporate “do not drive” instructions in their recall notices.