Laguna Hills, CA – November 27, 2018 – Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain 2010 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and 2010-2012 Lincoln MKZ vehicles that previously received a replacement passenger air bag under recalls 16V-384, 17V-024 or 18V-046. The potential number of units affected is 215.
According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, in the event of a crash requiring deployment of the passenger air bag, the bracket that secures the air bag inflator to the module housing may deform, allowing the gas that inflates the air bag to leak out. If the air bag does not inflate properly, there is an increased risk of injury in the event of a crash. All affected vehicles were previously repaired under safety recalls using passenger airbag module service parts manufactured with stop brackets with an incorrect material thickness. Ford identified the affected vehicle population by monitoring warranty repairs using its warranty system to identify vehicles repaired with a specific part number that contained incorrect material thickness stop brackets, and issued the subsequent recall for those vehicles alone, as the issue had been fixed at manufacturing level for subsequent builds.
Timeline of Events
For production validation (PV) testing, the supplier used a stop plate component that did not follow the proper production part approval process (PPAP) and was thicker than the specified material thickness. This resulted in a “false positive” validation test. The specified material thickness utilized in production was inadequate to provide expected performance. On October 4, 2018, Joyson Safety Systems (JSS) reported a production validation test failure while validating parts on a new production line at their Monclova plant on an airbag module produced as a service part for the 2010 through 2012 model year Fusion/Milan/MKZ vehicles.
On October 8, 2018, JSS observed a Lot Acceptance Test (LAT) failure on the same part produced at their Torreon plant. Parts used for LAT testing were also assembled using an incorrect gage thickness stop plate. JSS halted production of the affected airbag modules and quarantined stock in its control. Investigation of the test failures identified that a stop plate utilized in the module assembly provided insufficient support during airbag deployment. This defect was declared to be an issue, potentially resulting in inflation gas leakage and incomplete airbag cushion inflation in the event of a crash. The subsequent investigation of the PV and LAT test failures further identified that PV testing for the initial production line at the Torreon facility was performed using similar stop plates produced with an incorrect material thickness.
On October 16, 2018, the PV and LAT test failures were brought into Ford’s Critical Concerns Review Group, and on October 25, 2018, Ford’s Field Review Committee reviewed the concern and approved a field action.
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the passenger air bag module, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in late November 2018. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall is 18S34. Owners will be notified by mail and instructed to take their vehicle to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to have the vehicle’s passenger airbag module replaced. There will be no charge for this service. Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-775.