Ford is recalling nearly 2.6 million of its vehicles in the U.S. to replace driver-side Takata airbags. Ford’s recall is in response to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recent January 19, 2021 opinion that denied Ford’s 2017 petition for exemption. The purpose of Ford’s petition was to avoid the need to recall its vehicles equipped with driver-side Takata airbags.
Former automotive supplier Takata Corporation was responsible for the largest automotive recall in U.S. history, in which tens of millions of vehicles were recalled. The issue with Takata’s airbags was their faulty inflators that would inflate with excessive force when activated, causing metal shrapnel to fly about the vehicle’s cabin. Takata airbags have caused dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries.
Affected models in the recent recall include:
- 2006–2012 Ford Fusion
- 2007–2010 Ford Edge
- 2007–2011 Ford Ranger
- 2006–2011 Mercury Milan
- 2006–2012 Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ
- 2007–2010 Lincoln MKX
- 2007–2009 Mazda B-Series Pickups
Despite the clear danger of defective Takata airbags, Ford issued a statement on March 12, 2021 that it believes the recall was unnecessary because the inflators in the group of affected cars operate differently than those implicated in the previous Takata mass-recall.
In its January 19, 2021 decision, the NHTSA clarified that Ford had not (or presently, has not) “offered [any] persuasive reason to think that without a recall, even if current owners are aware of the defect and [Ford’s] petition, subsequent owners of vehicles equipped with covered Ford inflators would be aware of the issue.” The NHTSA further articulated the reality for average car consumers: the airbag defects are not noticeable. The agency opinion found that “a remedy is required to address the underlying safety defect.”
Owner notifications have been reported to begin the week of April 1, 2021.
Abraham Watkins has extensive experience handling Takata products liability cases, and the firm is investigating this recent Ford recall.
If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a motor vehicle defect, please contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 1-800-594-4884.