Dearborn, Mich. – Feb. 26, 2019 – Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling a range of vehicles from the years 2010-2014 that have been sold or registered at any point in certain states or territories of the U.S. This is part of the wider ongoing Takata air bag recall, and is in regard to the vehicles determined to be most at risk from the potential hazard. The potential number of units affected is 782,384. Vehicles include certain:
• 2010 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX vehicles
• 2010-2011 Ford Ranger and Mercury Milan vehicles
• 2010-2012 Ford Fusion and Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ vehicles
• 2010-2014 Ford Mustang vehicles
• 2011 Ford Ranger and Mercury Milan vehicles
• 2011-2012 Ford Fusion and Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ vehicles
• 2011-2014 Ford Mustang vehicles
• 2014 Ford Mustang vehicles
Territories affected include Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan) and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition, most states affected are those in areas designated Zones A,B, and C for the purposes of Takata-associated recalls.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Safety Report filed on Jan. 7, the vehicles in question were originally equipped with a Takata air bag that included an ammonium nitrate powered inflator within the assembly of the passenger frontal air bag module. (The air bag inflators were also used as replacements, so vehicles which have had the air bag replaced may still have a faulty device.)
If a vehicle which is so equipped is involved in a crash and the front passenger airbag deploys, there is a significant risk of the inflators exploding. This is due to propellant degradation, which typically occurs in response to long-term exposure to weather in hot and humid environments.
If an inflator explodes out of the front of the airbag, flying pieces of metal can strike passengers and the driver and cause serious injuries or death.
The Zones designated for the Takata recall are being prioritized as their climate leads to more rapid degradation, and vehicles are being recalled in waves with the oldest makes and models first, do to the higher risk involved for such vehicles and the pace of production for replacement air bags being limited by the sheer number needed to replace all in service.
Timeline of Events
On May 3, 2016, an Amendment to the Nov. 3, 2015 Consent Order was filed after the NHTSA evaluated the rate at which propellant degradation may occur in non-desiccated frontal airbag inflators. It was adjudged that there was significant variation based on geographic factors affecting both environmental heat and humidity. The department further concluded that all non-desiccated frontal Takata PSAN inflators will reach a threshold level of degradation at some point, at which time the inflator has a significantly increased risk of becoming unreasonably dangerous.
According to previous filings, other than inflators already under recall, Takata is not aware of any test ruptures in ballistic testing or confirmed field incidents related to the subject non-desiccated ammonium nitrate inflators. On Dec. 17, 2018, Ford’s Field Review Committee decided to issue the next phase of this recall to cover vehicles from the priority zones and years covering 2010 to 2014.
Owners will be notified by mail with instructions to take their vehicle to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to have their passenger frontal air bag inflator replaced, free of charge, with one that utilizes an inflator without ammonium nitrate. According to the owner letter from Ford, an appointment must be scheduled in accordance with parts and scheduling availability at the chosen dealer. The recall began Feb. 18, 2019. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall 19S01. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V001000.