Laguna Hills, CA – November 29, 2018 – Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain 2019 Lincoln Nautilus vehicles that are not equipped with Adaptive Front Steering, due to a defect in an air bag cover. The potential number of units affected is 268.
According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, the driver airbag modules installed in vehicles may contain a plastic cover that was improperly injection-molded at the sub-tier supplier. A driver airbag cover that has not been properly molded may detach during an airbag deployment. If the air bag cover separates during deployment, it can increase the risk of injury in the event of a crash.
Timeline of Events
On September 27, 2018, Autoliv, the non-AFS driver airbag module Tier 1 supplier, notified Ford of a test anomaly that had occurred during a lot acceptance test (LAT) at high temperature on that day. Autoliv subsequently contained all suspect parts from that lot, and began an investigation into the cause of the failure.
In October 2018, Autoliv’s ongoing investigation discovered that the potential root cause could be attributed to the presence of knit lines in the area of the tear seam on the airbag cover substrate, and it was also revealed that the Tier 3 supplier (DEMO) made several adjustments to the cover injection-molding process without notifying the Tier 2 supplier (Eissmann) of the adjustments. These adjustments had resulted in the improper forming of the knit lines in the area of the cover tear seam.
The investigation also revealed that the injection-molding process change had been used on covers that were built into airbag module assemblies which had previously passed LAT and were subsequently installed in vehicles; therefore, an analysis to identify the release status of these vehicles was initiated. On November 5, 2018, Ford’s Field Review Committee reviewed the concern and approved a recall.
Owners will be notified by mail and instructed to take their vehicle to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to have the driver airbag module replaced. There will be no charge for this service. The recall is expected to begin in November 2018. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall is 18S38. 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-806.