Ford Motor Company issued a recall last February for about 150,000 of it’s popular 2004-2006 F-150 truck models due to a potential airbag problem. The F-series is the most popular truck in America, with F-150’s representing roughly 65% of total F-series sales. Last year alone, Ford sold over one half million of the vehicles, making up about 18% of Ford’s sales.
The problem is apparently related to an electrical short, which can cause the airbags to deploy unexpectedly. In some cases the deployment has injured drivers. According to reports by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were almost 100 reported injuries from the unexpected deployment of the air bag, and roughly 270 inadvertent deployments that they are aware of. Drivers have experienced burns, bruising, neck and back pain, chipped teeth and even a broken arm. In addition to the injury concern is the serious risk that an unexpected deployment while driving could result in a vehicle crash.
On April 14th , under pressure from government safety regulators, Ford expanded the number of vehicles recalled to 1.2 million, for the same airbag safety concerns. This widened recall includes not only all F-150’s built in 2004 and 2005 model years, but part of 2006. It also includes 16,000 Lincoln LT pickups from the 2006 model year as well.
The heavier duty pickups, such as the F-250 and F-350 were not included in the recall.
Ford will be instructing truck owners to take their vehicle to a dealer and have an airbag wire in the steering wheel replaced. According to the company the repair should take less than half a day.