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Household says man killed in automobile crash by no means acquired air bag recall discover

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — When Florida Freeway Patrol troopers arrived at a crash scene within the Panhandle this summer season, they discovered a 23-year-old Navy officer lifeless on the wheel with neck wounds that originally appeared like a attainable taking pictures.

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A trooper later messaged the U.S. Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration that accidents had been from the deployment of an air bag within the 2006 Ford Ranger pickup within the July accident in Pensacola.

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Although the NHTSA is investigating and hasn’t made a ultimate willpower but, the household of Hayden Jones Jr. says there’s ample proof the dying was brought on by an exploding Takata air bag. It could be the twentieth such dying in america — and would come six years after the beginning of a recall of that automobile mannequin.

The NHTSA recall notices for the 2006 Ford Ranger underline the urgency, saying homeowners shouldn’t drive these autos “until you’re going straight to a vendor to have them repaired.”

Ford says it notified the automobile proprietor of the recall — even going to the proprietor’s house to attempt to schedule repairs — however the Jones household says it by no means obtained any recall discover from the producer and has filed a wrongful dying lawsuit.

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Circumstances like this, during which wanted repairs by no means occur, present the system is damaged, mentioned William Wallace, security advocate for Client Studies. He mentioned the recall system is weak partly as a result of it depends closely on homeowners holding updated with recall notices.


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Some states, reminiscent of New York, require notices of pending remembers to be given to automobile homeowners as a part of annual automobile inspections. Florida doesn’t require any annual inspections.

Hayden Jones Sr. initially purchased the automobile in Tennessee from Dobbs Ford of Memphis, Inc., in response to the lawsuit filed Wednesday towards Ford, the dealership — which is now AutoNation Ford Wolfchase — and the proprietor and driver of the opposite automobile concerned within the crash.

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The elder Jones now lives in Brandon, Mississippi, and the youthful Jones was utilizing the automobile in Florida, the place he was stationed in Pensacola.

Ford spokesman Mentioned Deep instructed The Related Press final month that the corporate had notified the proprietor of the recall and went to the home, however he didn’t affirm the tackle visited. Ford declined additional remark after the lawsuit was filed.

Orlando-based legal professional Andrew Parker Felix mentioned that nobody within the Jones household was visited by Ford representatives nor obtained recall notices. The Jones household declined to remark, besides by way of Felix.

“This stuff are actually the stuff of nightmares,” Felix mentioned. “It’s an airbag that actually shoots metallic at you.”

Felix’s agency, Morgan & Morgan, has prosecuted greater than 100 particular person Takata air bag claims. The agency contends that the vendor in Tennessee “was allegedly notified of Ford’s security recall of the 2006 Ranger at the very least 12 instances between 2018 and 2020, but in addition did nothing to warn Mr. Jones about his automobile’s lethal airbag.”

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Modifications of tackle can typically complicate remembers, mentioned Gabe Knight, one other security advocate for Client Studies.

“Shifting introduces a possible break within the capability of the automaker to achieve automobile homeowners,” Knight mentioned. “Until the proprietor notifies the automaker (which isn’t possible), then the automaker relies on the tackle they’ve on file and registration data, which might considerably lag behind strikes.”

Troopers who arrived on the scene on July 7 discovered Jones lifeless of neck wounds and shrapnel within the truck’s floorboards. The opposite driver walked away from the minor collision with no accidents, in response to the accident report.

“I believe we initially started our investigation as a attainable murder by gunfire as a result of we weren’t certain,” Lt. Jason King of the Freeway Patrol instructed information retailers on the time. The Freeway Patrol, when contacted by the AP, would give no additional particulars and referred the matter to the NHTSA.

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A doc posted on the NHTSA’s database mentioned a Florida Freeway Patrol trooper filed a report with the company saying that the motive force suffered deadly accidents “as a result of driver’s aspect air bag deployment.”

A minimum of 28 deaths worldwide have been attributed to Takata air baggage.

The corporate used ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate air baggage in a crash. However the chemical can turn out to be extra unstable over time when uncovered to moisture and repeated excessive temperatures — notably an issue in hotter, extra humid climates. The explosion can blow aside a metallic canister and hurl shrapnel by way of the passenger compartment.

About 67 million autos with Takata air baggage in america have been topic to a recall, in response to the NHTSA.

The final earlier dying brought on by a Takata air bag occurred in a Honda in Lancaster County, South Carolina, in January 2021.

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