National news outlets are reporting that regulators with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rejected Ford’s request to be spared from having to recall 3 million cars over a deadly airbag problem. According to the reports, Ford is being told to recall millions of vehicles in the United States over the presence of Takata airbag inflators, which expose occupants to serious injury risks.
Like General Motors just a few months earlier, Ford argued that the inflators named by regulators didn’t pose as big of a risk as the airbag inflators involved in other Takata-related recalls. However, regulators did not agree, stating that the information submitted by Ford actually shows that risks of “propellant degradation and potential future rupture risk” do exist and must not be ignored.
Takata Airbag Inflators Explosion Risk Puts Lives In Danger
In previous Takata airbag recalls, automakers and regulators stated that the metal inflators use chemicals that might deteriorate over time due to heat and humidity exposure. In the event of an accident, the airbag deployment may involve an explosion, causing the inflator to shatter in several small pieces. Due to the force of the explosion, metal parts may strike occupants, exposing them to serious and even fatal injuries.
So far, this issue has been linked to 27 deaths globally and hundreds of injuries.
For years, NHTSA has been pushing automakers to finalize recalls involving vehicles fitted with these airbags. However, many cars are still fitted with the potentially explosive parts.
Ford is being urged to recall vehicle models including the 2006 through 2012 Ford Ranger, Fusion, Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ, MKX, and Mercury Milan.
NHTSA gave Ford 30 days to comply with the recall request and asked the company to submit its plans ASAP. If you own one of the recalled vehicles, you can expect to receive a note in the near future in the mail.
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