Ford Expands Recall of F-Series Trucks Over Faulty Airbags

Ford Expands Recall of F-Series Trucks Over Faulty Airbags
Ford Expands Recall of F-Series Trucks Over Faulty Airbags

Ford Motor (F) is expanding a recall of its popular F-Series truck line because of faulty airbags that can deploy unexpectedly and possibly lead to injuries, federal regulators said Thursday.

The expanded action now includes some 1.2 million trucks from the 2004 through 2006 model years, substantially more than the 135,000 pickups Ford agreed to in its first U.S. recall related to the problem in February.

The F-Series pickup has perennially been the nation's top-selling vehicle.

Speculation that Ford would expand the recall heightened last week after National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief David Strickland said that talks between his agency and the Dearborn, Mich.-based company remained ongoing after more than a month of negotiations, The Detroit News reported.

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Though he praised the automaker for recalling 135,000 vehicles, Strickland added, "Our folks think that we would like to see something larger than that."

NHTSA said it has reports of 269 air bag deployments and 98 injuries from 2004 to 2006 F-150 vehicles. Injuries include chipped teeth, fractured arms and burns.

Ford had resisted adding more vehicles to the recall, it said in February, because the number of incidents was low, the injuries were minor and "consumers received adequate warning" as a result of an illuminated air-bag warning light that alerts drivers that their vehicles need to be serviced.

Thursday's recall is the latest in a string of recalls for the nation's No. 2 automaker. In late January, Ford recalled about 525,000 Windstar minivans for steering and handling problems that may result from corroded suspension parts caused by road salt. Many of those vehicles had been recalled under a previous action last August to repair corroded rear axles.

In early February, Ford recalled 360,000 F-Series trucks to repair faulty interior door handles. And last month, the automaker called back about 24,000 Ford Ranger pickups from the 2010 model year and 8,000 F-Series pickups and crossover vehicles from the 2011 model year to fix problems related to fuel leaks and electrical shorts.

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