Family: Man killed in crash never got air bag recall notice

Sep 22, 2022, 10:17 PM | Updated: Sep 23, 2022, 11:03 am
This undated family photo shows Hayden Jones Jr. The 23-year-old Navy officer was found dead at the...

This undated family photo shows Hayden Jones Jr. The 23-year-old Navy officer was found dead at the wheel by Florida Highway Patrol troopers in July 2022, in Pensacola. A trooper later messaged the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that injuries were due to the deployment of an air bag in the 2006 Ford Ranger pickup in the accident. (Jones Family via AP)

(Jones Family via AP)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — When Florida Highway Patrol troopers arrived at a crash scene in the Panhandle this summer, they found a 23-year-old Navy officer dead at the wheel with neck wounds that initially looked like a possible shooting.

A trooper later messaged the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that injuries were from the deployment of an air bag in the 2006 Ford Ranger pickup in the July accident in Pensacola.

Though the NHTSA is investigating and hasn’t made a final determination yet, the family of Hayden Jones Jr. says there’s ample evidence the death was caused by an exploding Takata air bag. It would be the 20th such death in the United States — and would come six years after the start of a recall of that vehicle model.

The NHTSA recall notices for the 2006 Ford Ranger underline the urgency, saying owners shouldn’t drive these vehicles “unless you are going straight to a dealer to have them repaired.”

Ford says it notified the vehicle owner of the recall — even going to the owner’s home to try to schedule repairs — but the Jones family says it never received any recall notice from the manufacturer and has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

Cases like this, in which needed repairs never happen, show the system is broken, said William Wallace, safety advocate for Consumer Reports. He said the recall system is weak in part because it relies heavily on owners keeping up to date with recall notices.

Some states, such as New York, require notices of pending recalls to be given to car owners as part of annual vehicle inspections. Florida does not require any annual inspections.

Hayden Jones Sr. originally bought the vehicle in Tennessee from Dobbs Ford of Memphis, Inc., according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday against Ford, the dealership — which is now AutoNation Ford Wolfchase — and the owner and driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash.

The elder Jones now lives in Brandon, Mississippi, and the younger Jones was using the vehicle in Florida, where he was stationed in Pensacola.

Ford spokesman Said Deep told The Associated Press last month that the company had notified the owner of the recall and went to the house, but he did not confirm the address visited. Ford declined further comment after the lawsuit was filed.

Orlando-based attorney Andrew Parker Felix said that no one in the Jones family was visited by Ford representatives nor received recall notices. The Jones family declined to comment, except through Felix.

“These things are literally the stuff of nightmares,” Felix said. “It is an airbag that shoots metal at you.”

Felix’s firm, Morgan & Morgan, has prosecuted more than 100 individual Takata air bag claims. The firm contends that the dealer in Tennessee “was allegedly notified of Ford’s safety recall of the 2006 Ranger at least 12 times between 2018 and 2020, but also did nothing to warn Mr. Jones about his vehicle’s deadly airbag.”

Changes of address can sometimes complicate recalls, said Gabe Knight, another safety advocate for Consumer Reports.

“Moving introduces a potential break in the ability of the automaker to reach car owners,” Knight said. “Unless the owner notifies the automaker (which isn’t likely), then the automaker is dependent on the address they have on file and registration records, which can significantly lag behind moves.”

Troopers who arrived at the scene on July 7 found Jones dead of neck wounds and shrapnel in the truck’s floorboards. The other driver walked away from the minor collision with no injuries, according to the accident report.

“I think we initially began our investigation as a possible homicide by gunfire because we weren’t sure,” Lt. Jason King of the Highway Patrol told news outlets at the time. The Highway Patrol, when contacted by the AP, would give no further details and referred the matter to the NHTSA.

A document posted on the NHTSA’s database said a Florida Highway Patrol trooper filed a report with the agency saying that the driver suffered fatal injuries “due to the driver’s side air bag deployment.”

At least 28 deaths worldwide have been attributed to Takata air bags.

The company used ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate air bags in a crash. But the chemical can become more volatile over time when exposed to moisture and repeated high temperatures — particularly a problem in warmer, more humid climates. The explosion can blow apart a metal canister and hurl shrapnel through the passenger compartment.

About 67 million vehicles with Takata air bags in the United States have been subject to a recall, according to the NHTSA.

The last previous death caused by a Takata air bag occurred in a Honda in Lancaster County, South Carolina, in January 2021.

___

AP auto writer Tom Krisher contributed from Detroit.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - A sign marks the entrance of the Micron Technology automotive chip manufacturing plant on Fe...
Associated Press

Japan to pay up to $320M for US company’s chip production

TOKYO (AP) — Japan is providing a major U.S. chipmaker a subsidy of up to 46.6 billion yen ($322 million) to support its plan to produce advanced memory chips at a Hiroshima factory, the Japanese trade minister said Friday. The announcement to subsidize Micron Technology comes on the heels of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris’ […]
23 hours ago
A man works at a manufacturer of Integrated Chip encapsulation in Nantong in eastern China's Jiangs...
Associated Press

China manufacturing weak, adding to economy pressure

BEIJING (AP) — Growth in Chinese factory activity was weak in September, export orders fell and employers cut jobs, two surveys showed Friday, adding to pressure on lackluster economic growth. A monthly purchasing managers’ index released by business news magazine Caixin fell to 48.1 from August’s 49.5 on a 100-point scale on which readings below […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das gestures during a press conference afte...
Associated Press

India raises interest rate to 5.90% to tame inflation

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s central bank on Friday raised its key interest rate by 50 basis points to 5.90% in its fourth hike this year and said developing economies were facing challenges of slowing growth, elevated food and energy prices, debt distress and currency depreciation. Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das projected inflation […]
23 hours ago
Currency traders watch monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquart...
Associated Press

Asian stocks sink on German inflation, British tax cuts

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks sank again Friday after German inflation spiked higher, British Prime Minister Liz Truss defended a tax-cut plan that rattled investors and Chinese factory activity weakened. Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney retreated. Oil prices edged lower. Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index fell 2.1% on Thursday to its lowest level […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba participates in a forum about the challenges Mississippi's capi...
Associated Press

Water crisis tests Mississippi mayor who started as activist

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The mayor of Mississippi’s capital was 5 years old when his parents moved their family from New York to Jackson in 1988 so that his father, who had been involved in a Black nationalist movement in the 1970s, could return to the unfinished business of challenging inequity and fighting racial injustice. […]
23 hours ago
Residents check on one another in a flooded neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Thursda...
Associated Press

After Ian, the effects in southwest Florida are everywhere

Hurricane Ian was over southwest Florida for only a few hours. It will take months to clean up all the damage. Maybe longer. And some of the destruction can’t be cleaned up at all. From trees getting ripped out of the ground to signs being ripped apart, traffic lights crashing onto roadways and some buildings […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Family: Man killed in crash never got air bag recall notice