Washington, D.C. – January 27, 2021 – Ford (NYSE:F) and Mazda (OTCMKTS:MZDAY) must recall close to 3 million vehicles in the U.S. after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) denied both manufacturers’ petitions to be excluded from an expansion of Takata airbag inflator recalls. The inflators, which have killed at least 30 people and caused over 400 injuries, are at the center of the largest auto recall in history, involving 19 car manufacturers and tens of millions of vehicles. Ford and Mazda will have to recall and replace airbags in the following models:
- 2007-2011 Ford Ranger pickups
- 2007-2009 Mazda B-Series pickups
- 2006-2012 Ford Fusion sedans
- 2006-2012 Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ sedans
- 2006-2011 Mercury Milan sedans
- 2007-2010 Ford Edge SUVs
- 2007-2010 Lincoln MKX luxury SUVs
The manufacturers have until February 18 to initiate the recall. The vehicles involved were built by Ford on Mazda’s platform due to Ford’s past investment in the company.
The recall concerns these vehicles’ driver’s-side airbag inflators, which are supposed to inflate the airbags using a small explosion. If moisture gets into the inflator and degrades the explosives inside, it may generate a blast that is too large. This can rupture the inflator and send pieces of metal flying into vehicle occupants, injuring or even killing them. Some inflators, including those in the aforementioned Ford and Mazda models, were made with a drying agent to protect the explosives from water.
Background of the recall
Similar to a recent Volkswagen Takata airbag recall, the vehicles that are set to be recalled were manufactured with a desiccant, or a drying agent, that was set to prevent the possible explosion by blocking the moisture from getting inside. Based on that and other factors, in 2017, Ford and Mazda petitioned NHTSA to be excluded from the recall that was initiated by Takata earlier that year.
However, this month, NHTSA denied the petitions due to its and Takata’s analysis of salvaged inflators, which showed that these components still degrade over time, increasing the risk of an explosion.
For risks related to this recall, please see our recent article about Volkswagen recalling over 100,000 Beetles over similar concerns. Mazda reported injuries related to previous recalls of cars manufactured by the brand but it is not clear how many. The vehicles affected under those Mazda airbag recalls include 2004-2009 B-Series pickup trucks and 2004-2006 Mazda MPV vans.
Other Ford recalls
Recently, Ford recalled 2014-2016 Edge SUVs due to potential brake failure. You can read more about that recall here.
Is your vehicle part of this recall?
Close to 3 million vehicles will be included in these Ford and Mazda recalls. To do a Ford recall check, bookmark MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool and come back to the site when more details become available.