Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series Philly Drivers Warned by NHTSA
Getting into your own or someone else’s vehicle? Do yourself a favor and quickly check out the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) site. What you may not realize is that thousands of cars, trucks, SUVs, vans and motorcycles are being operated at great risk to drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and motorists because of disregarded recalls.
Carfax noted in March 2018 that of all the states, Pennsylvania ranked in the top five of those with vehicles whose recalls had never been addressed. Ironically, getting a recalled vehicle fixed is free to owners; however, they have to initiate the process.
Take the May 2018 MY 2006 Ford Rangers and Mazda B-Series trucks recall announcement, for instance. Although owners have received warnings about dangerous, flawed Takata airbags since 2014 (more models have been added each year), around half of operators haven’t heeded the “do not drive” guidelines set forth by the NHTSA. In other words, plenty of people are simply ignoring the problem rather than getting it remedied at a qualified dealership. Philadelphia is one of the cities around the country with the highest number of these Rangers and B-Series vehicles on the highways.
For its part, the Takata company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in mid-2017. This is not unusual when manufacturers experience major headaches due to faulty products. However, it has no bearing on whether owners can still get their vehicles fixed. The automakers would much rather shoulder the burden than deal with the headaches and financial fallout of litigation.
Recalls Are Meant to Protect You and Your Loved Ones
While it’s always important to deal with any vehicle issues, the Takata airbag issue is a good illustration of why every driver should take recall alerts very seriously.
More than 1,700 crashes have been linked to Takata airbags that did not work as expected, sending small pieces of material flying when they went off. Of those incidents, many resulted in serious injuries and, sadly, deaths. CBS News reported the 20th fatality connected to flawed Takata airbags in December of 2017. One of those earlier fatalities occurred in 2015 in the northwestern region of Pennsylvania.
When a human error traffic-related accident occurs, most people lament, “If only I could go back in time, I’d make a different decision!” NHTSA recalls are the closest thing to a “wayback machine” that can reverse the possibility of a tragedy.
If you receive information about any of your vehicles from the maker, a dealership, or the NHTSA, follow up immediately. Significant recalls like the well-documented Takata one enable dealerships to tow your vehicle at no charge to you, negating any chance of harm before dealers can install replacement airbags.
With summer travel on the horizon, it’s more important than ever to prepare any vehicle before you leave on a road trip. While you’re checking the oil and testing the tires, use your smartphone to look up your vehicle’s make and model for recall notices. Not only is it convenient and fast, but it could save someone’s life.
For years, Wapner Newman’s team has worked to represent personal injury clients in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Contact them today for a free consultation about any of their practice areas, including traffic accidents.