The federal government is pleading with 2006 model year Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series pickup owners to park their trucks unless they've had their faulty Takata airbags replaced.
“I cannot stress strongly enough the urgency of this recall—these airbags are dangerous,” NHTSA deputy administrator Heidi King said in a release Tuesday. “Every vehicle must be accounted for now.”
In most of the vehicles that fall under the massive Takata recall, federal regulators have advised owners to continue driving their cars until the issue can be fixed. This is not the case for the Ranger and the B-Series trucks, which were placed on a “do not drive” list in the U.S. in February when it was discovered that two people in 2006 Rangers were killed by Takata airbags produced on the same day.
According to figures released by Ford and Mazda, 33,200 Rangers and B-Series trucks were recalled and only about half of them have been fixed. Like other vehicles affected by the recall, the Takata airbags in the trucks could explode when their inflators fail and cause the airbags to activate without warning.
The NHTSA considers older vehicles located in high-humidity areas of the country a priority for repairs. Takata airbags exposed to high humidity and moisture have been found by an independent laboratory to be at a higher risk for rupturing.
Ford and Mazda have offered to tow vehicles to repair sites for free. Any Takata-related repairs will be completed at no charge to the customer.