As part of the biggest auto recall in U.S. history, GM, Ford, and 17 other manufacturers will recall a total of 43 million vehicles equipped with defective airbags.
Ford Motor Company will recall three million US and Canadian vehicles of their own at a cost of $610 million. The move comes after some of its vehicles’ airbag inflators ruptured, injuring 400 people and killing at least 18 people in the United States and 27 people worldwide.
The move comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said they were rejecting Ford’s argument on Tuesday that there was no need to replace the airbags.
The defect has led to rare instances in which the airbag inflators rupture, sending potentially deadly metal fragments flying, prompting the largest automotive recall in U.S. history. The recall focuses on a defect in airbags made by Takata, a Japanese manufacturer that has since gone bankrupt.
Recalls linked to the Takata airbags began back in 2014. They have now ultimately led to the largest auto recall in history. Prior to this week’s announcement, the US portion of the recall had already reached 67 million airbags in 43 million vehicles.
Worldwide, nearly 100 million airbags from 19 major automakers have now seen a recall. NHTSA auto safety agency announced earlier this month that at least 17 million vehicles with Takata airbags remain unrepaired.
Defective Airbags Involved in Multiple Deaths and Injuries
At least 18 Americans have died from the defective airbags.
In April 2016, Huma Hanif was fatally struck by the airbag inflators. She was in a minor accident in which she was rear-ended. Her airbags deployed, exploding with too much force. They blew apart the device sending shards of metal and plastic into her neck.
Additionally, a Texas man died when the airbag in his 2002 Honda Accord deployed in a minor crash.
His vehicle had struck another vehicle at the entrance to a parking lot in Houston. The driver’s airbag deployed and a piece of metal struck him in the neck, killing him.
And while some who had experiences with the defective airbags live to tell their stories, they didn’t all walk away without injuries. Many people have been left blind or with impaired vision.
One woman lost part of her vision after a minor accident in her 2002 Honda. A car pulled in front of her Civic, causing a collision near Pensacola, Florida back in 2013. The airbags went off but the driver’s side inflator blew apart, sending metal fragments into Erdman’s eye and face.
One Minnesota resident was left completely blind after her accident. The passenger-side airbag in her 2002 BMW deployed as her husband was driving her and her son home.
Furthermore, a Florida motorist lost an eye after an accident in 2014 at just 20mph. He has been urging drivers to change their faulty airbags ever since.
In one campaign video, he says: “I lost my eye because of a defective airbag. Take your car in today so this doesn’t happen to you.”