Ford Expands F-150 Recall Over Air Bag Defects

fromMR

Ford is widening an earlier recall of its F-150 pickup trucks to about 1.2 million vehicles. The company had warned there was a possibility a wire could short-circuit and cause the airbags to deploy. The F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in the U.S.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

An expanded recall of Ford's popular F-150 pickups now includes more than a million trucks because of a potential problem with the vehicle's airbags.

As Michigan Radio's Rina Miller reports, this is Ford's fourth recall in the past three months.

RINA MILLER: Ford told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in February that it was recalling 144,000 F-150 pickup trucks from model year 2004 through 2006. The company said there was a possibility a wire could short-circuit and cause the airbags to deploy. But NHTSA asked Ford to expand the recall to include more than 1.2 million vehicles. It took some time, but this week Ford agreed.

Spokesman Wes Sherwood says drivers would most likely be warned of a problem with the airbags before anything happened.

Mr. WES SHERWOOD (Spokesman, Ford): We found that the airbag warning light would illuminate for an extended period of time, and that's each time you started up the vehicle, before there was any risk of an airbag deployment.

MILLER: Sherwood says there were some reports of injuries most of them minor such as burns or abrasions from deployed airbags, but no reported traffic accidents.

Mr. SHERWOOD: In most cases, the reported deployments occurred within the first few seconds of starting up the vehicle, when either the vehicle was parked or moving slowly.

MILLER: Ford has issued four recalls in the past three months because of possible electrical shorts, fuel leaks and faulty door handles. The F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in the U.S.

For NPR News, I'm Rina Miller in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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