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F-150 Trucks Recalled for Faulty Airbags

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On: Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 5:03PM | By: Chris Salamone

F-150 Trucks Recalled for Faulty Airbags

If you’re one of the many unfortunate people to own a Ford F-150 from 2005-2006 prepare to duck, dive for cover, or play a hilarious practical joke on your obnoxious neighbor. Ford announced a recall today to cover nearly 150,000 trucks intended to repair airbags which deploy without warning. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) informed Ford back in November 2010 that the recall should cover 1.3 million F-150s from 2004-2006. Despite administrative advice, Ford chose to recall only those models from 2005-2006 and at a much lower quantity than suggested. Since the recall is significantly smaller in scope, the NHTSA is currently analyzing Ford’s response to determine if the recall is acceptable. If not, a negative finding could lead to a public hearing to evaluate whether or not Ford should increase the recall’s size.

Although Ford made corrective airbag wiring changes to F-150 models back in 2006 and 2007, the NHTSA’s November memo indicated that there were 238 cases of improper airbag deployment and 77 injuries. Perhaps humorously, the memo noted that Ford didn’t believe the airbag issue warranted further repair because the quantity of reports were low, injuries were “minor in nature,” and drivers received “adequate warning from the air bag warning light.”

Ford spokesperson Wes Sherwood indicated that the recall specifically covers trucks assembled in the Norfolk, Virginia plant. Sherwood also attributed the majority of complaints and statistics of accidental deployment to trucks built during the first shift of production.

In most cases the seemingly random deployment occurred just a few seconds after the truck was started. Ford suggests the airbag issue could stem from an improperly positioned wire which chafed in the steering wheel, became exposed over time and created the possibility of short circuit. Then, the short circuit caused the airbag warning lamp to ignite and WHAM! Say goodbye to the neighbor’s incessant complaints about overhanging trees.

The recall is expected to begin in early March. F-150 owners who qualify will be notified by mail and instructed to bring their truck to an authorized dealer. The automaker anticipates that the repair will take less than half a day and will be provided at no cost if completed by a Ford dealership. The company’s official statement said that “Ford is aware of one customer that jumped from the vehicle after a deployment that occurred in the driveway. ”By my calculations that means you have a 237/238 or 99.5% chance of effectively playing the prankster.

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