Ford Airbag Risks Result in Recall of 3 Million Vehicles

Ford Motor Company is being forced to recall an estimated 3 million pickup trucks, cars and SUV’s equipped with defective and potentially lethal Takata airbag inflators, which may be prone to rupture and send debris into the passenger compartment.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ordered the Ford airbag recall on January 19, which is expected to cost the company about $610 million, after rejecting a petition filed by the automaker that claimed the vehicles are safe.

Since 2014, more than 100 million Takata airbags have been recalled worldwide, due to defective inflators that may cause airbags to overinflate and explode, spraying vehicle occupants with potentially deadly shrapnel. The series of recalls has been the largest, and arguably one of the most complex, ever recorded in history, impacting 19 different automobile manufacturers.

In 2017, Ford petitioned the NHTSA to avoid the recall. Ford officials claimed the risk of airbag explosions were inconsequential as it relates to the safety of their vehicles. However, the NHTSA’s review of the petition determined Ford has not established that the defective airbags are inconsequential, given the deadliness of those inflator explosions in other vehicles.

To date, at least 25 people have been killed worldwide by recalled Takata airbags and more than 400 have been injured. Of the fatalities, 16 have occurred in the United States, fourteen of which involved a Honda vehicle. At least another seven fatalities involving Honda vehicles equipped with defective Takata airbags have been reported outside of the U.S.

In November 2020, NHTSA officials denied a similar Takata airbag recall petition filed by General Motors, which sought to avoid recalling about seven million Chevrolet Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe and Avalanche vehicles, as well as Cadillac Escalade, GMC Sierra and Yukon vehicles from the 2007 through 2014.

Although General Motors petitioned the agency at least four times since 2016, contending that the vehicles Takata airbags have a lower risk of rupture due to unique design differences, the regulators repeatedly rejected that position.

Ford appears to have fared no better. Pursuant to the agencies findings, Ford has 30 days to submit a proposed recall schedule, including plans to notify owners and present potential remedies.

The recall will impact various 2007 to 2011 model year Ford Rangers, 2006 to 2012 model year Ford Fusion vehicles, as well as 2006 to 2012 model year Lincoln Zephyr vehicles; and 2007 to 2010 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX models. According to the automaker, some of the recalled vehicles were included in a previous Takata airbag recall for the passenger-side airbag.

The recall is expected to include 2.7 million vehicles sold in the United States and another 300,000 in Canada.

Although the official recall announcement has not yet been issued by Ford, vehicles owners will be notified and provided instructions on how to schedule a free inflator replacement. Owners may also access the NHTSA recall database and enter their VIN to confirm if their vehicle is subject to any open recalls.

Takata Airbag Recalls

Problems with Takata ammonium nitrate airbag inflators first surfaced in 2014, sparking the largest automobile recall in U.S. history. NHTSA officials tasked with regulatory oversight of the recall discovered the defective airbags were used in millions of vehicles on U.S. roadways.

Repairing the massive amount of vehicles, and even notifying all of the owners of the potential risks of airbag explosions, has been a slow and daunting task, affecting a significant percentage of the U.S. pedestrian and commercial vehicle fleet.

A number of airbag recall lawsuits have been filed over the massive Takata recall series, including claims by consumers who suffered severe and often life-threatening injuries when the airbag exploded following an accident. Given common allegations raised in the complaints, cases filed throughout the federal court system have been centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, as part of a multidistrict litigation, or MDL.

3 Comments

  • BrianNovember 14, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    I got a recall . Went to temple terrace Ford to get the bag replaced . They wanted the vin after I gave them the card . I said the truck is in the space right there 🤣 . Go get the vin they said . I said it's right there ,and you have the card with the vin . They said I would have to make an appointment and leave the ranger a few days . No loaner . Get a ride home and back . An airbag change takes [Show More]I got a recall . Went to temple terrace Ford to get the bag replaced . They wanted the vin after I gave them the card . I said the truck is in the space right there 🤣 . Go get the vin they said . I said it's right there ,and you have the card with the vin . They said I would have to make an appointment and leave the ranger a few days . No loaner . Get a ride home and back . An airbag change takes 1/2 hour not a few days . Fact . Ford could care less .

  • JoannAugust 17, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    I was in an accident a year and a half ago and I was hit on the driver's side rear. Not one airbag deployed. My son's insurance company wouldn't help due to a mistake on his insurance that claimed I was an excluded driver. The accident happened right before the pandemic. Wanted to check to see if it's too late to speak to a lawyer about the airbags that didn't deploy and they have sent a letter fr[Show More]I was in an accident a year and a half ago and I was hit on the driver's side rear. Not one airbag deployed. My son's insurance company wouldn't help due to a mistake on his insurance that claimed I was an excluded driver. The accident happened right before the pandemic. Wanted to check to see if it's too late to speak to a lawyer about the airbags that didn't deploy and they have sent a letter from Ford motor that they need to be replaced!! What should I do?

  • SusanFebruary 23, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    On May 17 2017 my son died in a car accident. He had a huge evulsion on the top left side of his head. This accident never made any sense to me. The airbags had deployed in my Ford fashion 2011. I keep getting recall notices now. It makes so much sense to me now. I feel this is the real cause of my son's death.

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