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Ford Weaseling Out Of Full F-150 Airbag Recall

A little more than a year ago I noted that Ford F150’s had a mysterious exploding airbag problem, reporting that NHTSA was investigating F150 airbag complaints. In that article I predicted that Ford would likely need to recall some trucks, as their own internal documents indicated airbags were spontaneously exploding due to an electrical short. From Jan, 2010:

In light of Toyota’s recent recall problems, Ford would be wise to get ahead of this thing as quickly as possible…The F150 is Ford’s most popular vehicle, and they can ill-afford to have consumers question the truck’s safety… Hopefully, Ford will manage this issue better than Toyota

Today Ford announced that they would be recalling F-150s to fix this problem, but reportedly Ford will only recall 150,000 trucks rather than the approximate 1.5 million that NHTSA has requested. Ford argues that the only trucks effected by this airbag problem were built at the Norfolk, VA plant, yet NHTSA investigators have found evidence of spontaneously exploding airbags on F150s made at other plants (link).

In March of 2010, Toyota came under heavy fire when records showed that Toyota executives attempted to “negotiate” their way out of a NHTSA floormat recall to save money. Today, Ford seems to be doing something similar: Rather than replacing airbag assemblies on 1.5 million trucks as suggested by NHTSA, Ford is only going to replace 10% of the assemblies.

Evidently, 90% of 2004-2006 F150 owners who may be driving around with a¬†spontaneously¬†exploding airbag aren’t important to Ford.

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