Car Recalls: Do You Drive a Ford Ranger or Older BMW? Read This Now.

A Ford sign is shown at a dealership in Springfield, Pa., Tuesday, April 26, 2022. Ford Motor Co. is recalling certain 2004 to 2006 Ranger vehicles, Friday, May 5, 2023, because replacement front passenger air bag inflators may have been installed incorrectly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a letter that the recall includes 231,942 vehicles. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

By Associated Press

May 5, 2023

DETROIT—Ford Motor Co. and BMW are recalling more than 300,000 cars with dangerous airbags.

Key Points:

  • Both Ford and BMW are recalling cars with faulty airbags. So far, they’ve killed at least 33 people.
  • Ford is recalling 231,942 Rangers, made between 2004-2006.
  • BMW is recalling 90,000 cars, made between 2000-2006.
  • The Rangers had airbags replaced during a previous recall—and they were installed improperly.

Ford

Ford is recalling some 2004 to 2006 Ranger vehicles because replacement front passenger air bag inflators may have been installed incorrectly.

The vehicles had received replacement front passenger air bag inflators under a previous recall.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that an incorrectly installed inflator may not properly inflate the passenger air bag, increasing the risk of injury during a crash.

Notification letters are expected to be mailed to owners of the impacted vehicles on May 22. All repairs will be free.

Vehicle owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332 or the NHTSA vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153).

BMW

BMW is warning owners of three car models not to drive them—as the air bags may explode in a crash.

The cars are: 3 Series made between 2000-2006, 5 Series made between 2000-2003, and X5s made between 2000-2004.

These BMWs had previously been recalled due to faulty and dangerous air bag inflators made by the company Takata.

The company used volatile ammonium nitrate to inflate the air bags in a crash. But the chemical can deteriorate over time when exposed to heat and humidity and blow apart a metal canister, hurling shrapnel that can injure or kill drivers and passengers.

The NHTSA said drivers should park their vehicles and contact BMW for more information. Repairs are available at no cost to owners, as well as mobile repair and free towing.

“These vehicles are 17 to 22 years old, and the risk to vehicle occupants is dire,” the agency said in a statement Thursday. “These are some of the oldest Takata air bags under recall and have an extremely high probability of failure during a crash.”

NHTSA says if the inflators blow apart, metal fragments could be hurled toward the driver’s face and could kill them or cause “devastating, life-altering injuries.”

Owners can go to BMW’s website to check if their vehicle is affected or call BMW customer relations at (866) 835-8615. NHTSA also has a recall lookup tool on its website.

Since 2009, the exploding air bags made by Takata have killed at least 33 people worldwide, including 24 in the United States. Most of the deaths and about 400 injuries have happened in U.S., but they also have occurred in Australia and Malaysia.

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