Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series Owners Should Be Mindful of Recalls

by Terry Bryant

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is alarmed that certain higher-risk 2006 Ford Rangers and Mazda B-Series light pickup trucks with defective Takata airbags are not being repaired fast enough. NHTSA recently issued a “do not drive” warning on both vehicles, saying that the airbags must be replaced immediately. This “second public plea” implores owners to schedule a free repair ASAP for their own safety and to protect loved ones and friends who may drive or be passengers in these dangerous vehicles.

“NHTSA’s number one priority is making sure that everyone is safe on our roads. I cannot stress strongly enough the urgency of this recall – these airbags are dangerous,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King. “I cannot stress strongly enough the urgency of this recall. These air bags are dangerous. Every vehicle must be accounted for now,” she adds.

NHTSA is executing a full-court media blitz calling safety advocates and the public to help spread this urgent safety message to ensure it reaches owners, particularly in Houston, Galveston, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Austin.

According to the manufacturers, 49% of the 33,320 recalled Takata airbags in 2006 Ford Rangers have been repaired, and 58% of the 2,205 recalled Mazda B-Series trucks’ airbags have been repaired. Both Ford and Mazda have authorized their dealers to tow these vehicles free of charge to accelerate the free repairs.

How Come it takes so Long to Finish a Recall?

Owners need to investigate whether their vehicles are under any recalls – especially used cars, because they fall under a different set of notification rules. It would be a mistake for any used car buyer to “assume” that their vehicle is safe and has no recalls against it.  Even if your car is several years old, or you responded to a recall a few years back, that doesn’t mean there’s not another one that for some reason has slipped through the cracks.

The work-life balance of busy Americans is one reason many people are unaware of a recall on their vehicles and, even if they do know of it, have a problem getting it promptly fixed. According to Consumer’s Union, light trucks and minivans are most likely to have unfixed recalls, which certainly can explain the NHTSA’s reissue of recalls for the Ford Rangers and Mazda B-Series trucks.

Another reason is that when older vehicles are targeted for recalls, it can be harder to contact owners. These vehicles have more likely been sold – maybe more than once. So recall notices which are normally mailed out to the “owner of record” may fail to reach the current owner.

Another problem regarding used cars with unresolved defective recalls comes to mind. There are no state or federal laws requiring a dealer to fix a recalled used car before selling it. Nor are they obligated to even warn the buyer that it is on NHTA’s recall list.

Consumers Union and the Consumers Federation of America are two of a growing number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which are petitioning the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to require dealers who sell used cars to at least inform buyers of unrepaired recalled vehicles.

If you want to know whether your vehicle has a recall against it, visit NHTSA’s vehicle recall web page and enter your vehicle information – including VIN number.

If you or a family member has been injured by an unrepaired recalled vehicle, or any defective product, we at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law are here to help you any time, 24/7. Contact us now to arrange a free consultation.