Ford is recalling about 391,000 Ranger pickups after a man was killed by shrapnel from an exploding air bag.
The air bag is part of the Takata saga, an ongoing worldwide recall for air bags that have caused deaths and serious injuries because they deploy with too much force. Ford Rangers from the 2004 to 2006 model years are affected, and this is the first air bag-related death in the U.S. not related to a Honda.
U.S. regulators recently announced that more than 5 million vehicles that were previously not affected by Takata’s defective air bags might have to be recalled, bringing the total cars affected in the U.S. to 24 million and 28 million worldwide.
The 2006 Ford Ranger driver died on Dec. 22 in South Carolina after he collided with a cow and struck a fence. The air bag inflator exploded with too much force and the man was killed by shrapnel from the explosion. He is the 100th person worldwide to have died from a faulty Takata air bag. More than 100 more have been injured.
Other automakers besides Ford affected by this recall include Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Honda, Mazda and Saab. Expect more automakers to announce their recalls and affected vehicles in the near future.
Takata last year agreed to pay a $70-million fine and is currently facing criminal investigations. The Japanese company has also been dumped as a supplier by many automakers following the recalls.