Ford Motor Co. agreed to recall “nearly 150,000 F-150 pickup trucks to fix air bags that could deploy without warning,” the Associated Press reports. The AP explains this recall comes after “government pressure.”
However, the AP explains that Ford’s actions do not comply with the government’s call for the recall of 1.3 million F-150s from the model years 2004 to 2006, which they say caused “98 injuries from air bags deploying accidentally.” Ford defended their decision, saying there is a “relatively low risk” that a truck’s airbag will deploy inadvertently, the AP reports.
However, the article explains the recall is “being closely watched because Ford’s F-Series pickup truck is the best-selling vehicle in America. Although the AP says “Ford’s leaders have made safety a cornerstone of the company’s revitalization,” this is just the latest safety recall to hound the company.
The AP explains that the auto maker “has recalled more than 600,000 Windstar minivans in the U.S. and Canada since August to fix rear axles that can corrode and break, an issue still under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.” Over the last ten years, the AP reports that Ford has recalled over 10 million vehicles.
The news source goes on to report that “A Transportation Department spokeswoman said the agency was reviewing Ford’s response to see if the F-150 recall was adequate,” explaining that “it could seek a rare public hearing to decide whether Ford should widen its safety action” if it is determined this recall is insufficient.
According to the AP, “NTHSA has been investigating the air bag issues for more than a year,” although Ford told the government that the problem did not “present an unreasonable risk to vehicle safety,” based on the low number of reported injuries. Furthermore, the auto maker said that the air bag warning light gave drivers an “obvious warning,” the article explains.
The AP goes on to say that “Ford told NHTSA in May that some drivers reported injuries that included burns from contact with the air bag, bruises, neck and back pain and minor cuts,” with a handful of other customers reporting chipped teeth or bone fractures.
A January 2011 NHTSA letter to Ford said this inadvertent deployment leads to a “potential for loss of vehicular control” that “poses an unreasonable risk to safety,” the article explains. However, the AP reports that Ford feels this recall is unjustified, saying “owners received an adequate warning from the air bag warning light.” The company further shifted the issue to vehicle owners, saying this recall is meant to “affect the behavior of an extremely small group of owners who have shown that they habitually ignored multiple safety warnings.”
The AP reports that this recall is expected to start in early March, when owners of these vehicles will be contacted and instructed to bring the trucks to their local dealers.
Thomas, Ken. (February 23, 2011) “Ford to recall 150,000 F-150 pickups over air bags.” Retrieved on February 24, 2011 from the Associated Press.