The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Monday urged owners of 2006 model year Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series pickup trucks to stop driving the vehicles immediately.
The message came as the two automakers expanded a “do not drive warning” for the trucks due to defective air bags made by Japanese auto supplier Takata Corp.
“These vehicles have defective Takata air bags that are an immediate risk to safety,” said NHTSA in a statement.
High pressure can cause the air bags to explode in the event of a crash and project shrapnel into the cabin of the vehicle. Fifteen people in the U.S. have been killed by defective Takata air bags that exploded, according to NHTSA.
Ford issued an initial warning in January for approximately 3,000 Rangers in North America after confirming two fatalities were caused by the defective airbags. A subsequent investigation revealed as many as 33,428 additional 2006 Rangers are at risk.
The expanded recall affects an additional 1,955 Mazda B-Series trucks. Mazda issued an original warning for 160 trucks in January.
The 2006 Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series are mechanical twins and were both built by Ford, according to a Mazda spokesperson.
Both Ford and Mazda have replacement parts available now. The automakers will tow vehicles to local dealerships, perform repairs and provide loaner vehicles free of charge. Ford owners can check their vehicle’s vehicle identification number here to see if it’s affected. Mazda owners can check here.
The agency estimates about 37 million vehicles across are under recall for approximately 50 million defective Takata air bags. Takata filed for bankruptcy in June 2017.
Ford long owned a stake in Mazda and sold off its remaining shares two years ago, according to Mazda.
NHTSA advises all drivers to visit NHTSA.gov to check if their vehicle is under recall.