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NHTSA says pickups with dangerous air bags should be parked

Some Texas drivers may have heard about faulty Takata airbag inflators installed in a variety of different vehicles that have killed more than 12 people and injured hundreds. In January, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration first issued a warning about 2006 Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series pickups. On May 7, the NHTSA reinforced its warning.

The danger is that in an accident, the air bags explode, so vehicle occupants may be injured or killed by metal shards. The NHTSA issued its warning again because the process of replacing the air bags was moving slowly. According to the agency, the defective product creates an immediate danger, and vehicles that have the air bags should not be driven until they are replaced.

Dealers will tow the vehicles and replace the part for free. In all, 2,205 Mazda pickups and 33,320 Ranger pickups contain the part. Just under half of all the Rangers and 55 percent of the Mazdas have had the air bags replaced.

A person who is injured by a defective product like these air bags might be able to file a products liability lawsuit. Companies have an obligation to keep customers safe, and if their negligence leads to a person's injury or death, they may be considered legally liable.

A person who is injured in an incident involving a defective product might want to discuss the situation with an attorney. These injuries could result in medical costs, and the person might be unable to work while recovering from the injury. If the lawsuit is successful, the person might receive compensation to cover costs associated with the injury as well as lost income. A company might also prefer to avoid a lawsuit and offer the injured victim an out-of-court settlement, but the person may refuse if the offer is too low or the conditions seem unreasonable.

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