Ford is recalling about 2.6 million cars, trucks and SUVs in the United States to replace driver-side Takata airbags. According to Consumer Reports, this announcement comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) denied the automaker’s petition in January to exempt several Ford and Mazda models from the recall process.
Ford said in a statement that unlike previously-recalled Takata airbag parts, these driver-side airbags contain a moisture-absorbing desiccant and perform differently. Ford believes its extensive data demonstrates that a safety recall is not warranted for the driver-side airbag. However, NHTSA denied Ford’s petition, and the automaker is now recalling these vehicles.
Details of the Recall
The problem with these vehicles is that the driver-side front airbag inflators contain a calcium sulfate desiccant that may degrade after long-term exposure to high heat and humidity. This could result in the rupture of the inflator during airbag deployment causing the metal shard to be propelled into the vehicle compartment. The older Takata airbag inflators that were part of an unprecedented recall contained ammonium nitrate, which also tended to degrade in hot and humid conditions and posed similar dangers.
Separately, Mazda announced that it would recall approximately 5,844 Mazda B-Series trucks. Ford’s statement explained that while this condition could result in serious injury death, the automaker is not aware of any reports of a rupture of an airbag containing calcium sulfate desiccant. When the recall begins, dealerships will replace the driver-side airbag inflator or airbag module, as needed.
Owners will begin to be notified the week of April 1. The vehicles recalled include 2006-2012 Ford Fusion, 2007-2010 Ford Edge, 2007-2011 Ford Ranger, 2007-2009 Mazda B-Series, 2006-2011 Mercury Milan, 2006-2012 Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ and 2007-2010 Lincoln MKX. When the recall begins, dealers will replace the front airbag inflator or airbag module.
Auto Product Liability Issues
Injured victims can file an auto product liability claim against the automaker and the supplier of the defective product. Family members who have lost a loved one as the result of a defective product can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. An experienced auto product liability lawyer will be able to advise injured victims and their family members regarding their legal rights and options.