Ford Motor Company has issued a recall for an estimated 2,900 Ranger pickup trucks in the U.S. and Canada after hearing reports that a defective Takata airbag inflator killed a Ranger driver in West Virginia. New Jersey motorists may remember that Takata was previously the subject of the largest auto recall in U.S. history.
In the inflator is a chemical compound called ammonium nitrate, which is used as a propellant. In defective inflators, it explodes and blows up a metal canister inside the inflator, causing metal shards to spray out and hit the car’s occupants. More than 180 injuries have been recorded. The resulting stream of liability claims forced Takata into bankruptcy.
The fatality in West Virginia was, to date, the 21st to be caused by these inflators and the second involving a Ford Ranger. Though the incident occurred in July 2017, Ford only learned about it in December 2017. After inspecting the vehicle and pinpointing the date when its airbag inflator was manufactured, Ford recalled all Rangers with inflators made that same day. It advises all owners of the affected Rangers to stop driving them and contact a Ford dealership. The dealer can repair the vehicle at their homes, and loaners will be provided if necessary.
Before filing a product liability lawsuit, it can be advisable for an injured victim to have the assistance of a lawyer to establish that the product was indeed defective and that it was the cause of the harm to the plaintiff. Potential defendants can include the manufacturer of the product as well as all other parties in the chain of distribution.