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Ford to withdraw 3 million vehicles for airbag problems after losing battle with safety regulator

The move comes after On Tuesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rejected Ford’s argument that this version of the airbags does not need to be replaced.

The withdrawal focuses on a defect in the airbags made by Takata, now a bankrupt Japanese manufacturer. Another version of the Takata airbag had an inflation defect that caused a number of bags to explode, spraying shrapnel through the vehicle. In addition to the 18 deaths, more than 400 drivers or passengers were injured, including blinded or maimed.
Reminders related to Takata airbags began in 201
4 and eventually became the largest automatic seizure in history. Prior to the announcement this week, the US portion of the withdrawal had already reached 67 million airbags in more than 40 million vehicles.

Although the Takata airbags used by Ford are different but similar to those involved in previous seizures, safety regulators said they still pose a risk.

In November, NHTSA rejected a similar complaint from General Motors (GM)forcing the carmaker to tow 7 million pickups and SUVs. The agency also rejected a complaint from Mazda, but this covers only 5,800 pickups in the United States that are designed for the carmaker.

Ford models included in the download

Models covered by the recall include the Ford Ranger from 2007 to 2011, the Ford Fusion from 2006 to 2012, the Lincoln Zephyr from 2006 to 2012, the Ford Edge from 2007 to 2010 and the Lincoln MKX from 2007 to 2010. Mazda’s towed vehicles are pickups from B series from 2007 to 2009

Owners will be notified if their vehicle is included in the download or they can enter the VIN number on this site. Ford will repair the airbags and vehicle owners will not be charged.

As a result of the NHTSA decision, Ford will cost $ 610 million to replace the airbags. Due to the bankruptcy of Takata, Ford bears all costs.

“Safety is always a top priority,” said Ford spokesman Monique Brentley. “Unlike other parts of the Takata airbag that have previously been withdrawn, these driver airbags contain moisture-absorbing [material] and are presented differently. We believe that our extensive data show that the safety withdrawal is not justified for the driver’s airbag. However, we respect the NHTSA decision and will issue a recall. “

The severity of the consequence

However, NHTSA officials said that airbags become more and more subject to failure over time and that the “severity of the consequences” for passengers and drivers when the rupture of the inflatable valves is too severe. “What Ford presents here, while valuable and informative in certain respects, suffers from too many shortcomings,” the agency wrote in its decision.

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