The airbags’ Takata inflators can degrade, causing airbag rupture. Ford Edge, Fusion, Ranger, Lincoln MKX and Mercury Milan are affected.
Ford will spend about $610 million to recall three million vehicles and replace their driver’s-side airbags after NHTSA ruled it must.
The problem is the danger that Takata inflators in the airbags could degrade, possibly leading to airbag rupture that could propel metal pieces throughout the vehicle.
The recall will include 2006 through 2012 models of the Ford Edge, Fusion, and Ranger the Lincoln MKX and MKZ/Zephyr and the Mercury Milan, as well as about 5800 2007–2009 Mazda B-series pickups.
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A Ford spokesperson told Car and Driver that the automaker is “working on the recall details and will submit to NHTSA a proposed schedule for the notification of vehicle owners and the launch of a remedy.” Responding to a question about why Ford had earlier disputed the need to issue this recall, the spokesperson explained “Unlike other Takata passenger-side airbag parts previously under recall, these driver-side airbags contain a moisture-absorbing desiccant and perform differently. We believe our extensive data demonstrated that a safety recall was not warranted for the driver-side airbag. However, we respect NHTSA’s decision and will issue a recall.”
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The long-lasting and worldwide problem of defective Takata airbag inflators continues. Ford has just been ordered to recall three million vehicles that contain them.
The inflators are in driver’s-side airbags and could rupture, risking metal fragments being propelled throughout the interior of the vehicles.
The vehicles involved are the 2007–2011 Ford Ranger, 2006–2011 Mercury Milan, 2006–2012 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ/Zephyr, the 2007–2010 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX, and the 2007–2009 Mazda B-series pickup.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) earlier this week ordered the automakers to carry out the recall after it rejected a petition from Ford and Mazda to be excused from doing so. Ford and Mazda now have 30 days to make recall plans.
In November, NHTSA also required General Motors to recall nearly six million vehicles over problems with the Takata airbag inflators.
Owners of vehicles that may be affected should check the NHTSA recalls website, which does not yet have details but will soon.