Ford Motor Company is set to recall about 3 million vehicles equipped with defective Takata airbags after officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rejected the automaker’s request to avoid such a move. According to a USA Today news report, Ford disclosed in a public filing that the recall includes 2.7 million vehicles in the United States and will cost the company about $610 million.
When the recall begins, the company will replace airbag inflators in the 2007-2011 Ford Ranger, the 2006-2012 Ford Fusion, the 2007-2010 Ford Edge, the 2006-2012 Lincoln MKZ/Zephyr, the 2007-2010 Lincoln MKX, and the 2006-2011 Mercury Milan. The airbag inflators included in this recall are different than the ones included in earlier Takata recalls, but are defective for the same reason – they have the potential to explode and cause serious or even fatal injuries.
Ford had tried to argue with NHTSA that it didn’t find evidence the material in the inflators was degrading to the extent that it would cause a safety issue. However, NHTSA rejected Ford’s request to avoid a recall, reaching its determination this week. NHTSA said the ammonium nitrate propellant used to inflate the driver’s airbags is showing signs of decay and poses a serious safety risk. Mazda, which Ford previously owned, is also expected to recall 2007-2009 B-Series small pickup trucks due to NHTSA’s action.
Takata airbags have caused at least 27 deaths worldwide, including 18 in the United States. Nearly 400 people have suffered injuries because of these defective airbags. The problem caused the largest series of auto recalls in U.S history, with at least 67 million inflators recalled by 19 automakers.
Auto Product Liability Issues
Millions of these unrepaired defective vehicles still contain faulty Takata airbags on our roadways. Particularly at risk are millions of people who own used cars that they bought at dealerships or auctions. These consumers do no know that these vehicles have been recalled because they don’t get the recall notices automakers send. Also, there are no laws requiring dealers to repair recalled cars before they sell them, even though doing so cost dealerships nothing. Automakers are required to fix recalled vehicles at no cost.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective airbag. In that case, you may be able to file an auto product liability claim against the automaker or the manufacturer of the defective part seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation and pain and suffering. It is important that victims and their families contact an auto defect law firm that has successfully investigated and won similar cases against large automakers.