WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Friday announced a new round of recalls of an estimated 5 million vehicles with defective Takata airbags and said the move was prompted by the death of the driver of a 2006 Ford Ranger in December.
"NHTSA was informed of the crash last week and vehicle inspection today confirmed the rupture," NHTSA spokesman Gordon Trowbridge told Edmunds.
This is the first death to happen in a vehicle that was not made by Honda.
"We are saddened to hear about the driver's death and offer our sincere condolences to the family of the driver," wrote Ford spokesman John Cangany, in response to a query from Edmunds. "We are working with the agency to review the available information, but we have very limited information at this point. If we find an issue with our vehicles, we take prompt action to address customer safety."
Cangany said there is no official word on a new Ford recall related to Takata airbags.
The Takata recall expansion brings to 28 million the number of Takata airbag inflators recalled.
The defective airbags can explode with too much force, shooting metal shrapnel at vehicle occupants.
NHTSA expects Takata to file defect information reports on Friday in advance of official recall expansions that cover about 1 million driver-side inflators.
"Makes we expect to be affected (are) Audi, Daimler Trucks, Ford, Mazda and VW," Trowbridge said. "No model or model year info as yet, but we will post all the info to Safercar.gov as soon as possible."
The second recall expansion includes Takata PSDI-5 model inflators that do not have desiccated propellant.
"NHTSA was informed last week of testing ruptures of three inflators removed from Toyota RAV4 vehicles under recall," Trowbridge said. "Based on that test data, we expect Takata defect information reports on the PSDI-5 later today."
About 4 million vehicles will be included in that action.
He added that the aforementioned information may be "subject to significant change."
A Takata spokesman did not respond immediate to a query from Edmunds.
Edmunds says: The ongoing Takata airbag crisis widens. Updates on the affected vehicles are expected to be available in the next few days.