Ford Ensuring Quality Takata Airbag Repairs: No More Sloppy Jobs

Re-inspection program impacts 42,000 cars including Mustang, Ranger, Fusion, Edge, and more.

Ford has faced a series of unfortunate events in the form of recalls, leading to it being ranked as the top automaker with the highest number of recalls in recent years. As a result, the company is now required to conduct a thorough review of previously repaired vehicles due to poor and hasty repairs linked to the widespread Takata airbag recall.

A recent inquiry conducted by The Detroit Free Press revealed that Ford Motor Company encountered a problem in which service center mechanics neglected to carry out necessary repairs, yet still charged customers for the services, or conducted the repairs inaccurately. The major vehicle manufacturer disclosed to the press that approximately 42,000 of their cars may have defects in their airbag systems.

In the spring of 2022, Ford launched its re-evaluation initiative to encompass a variety of vehicle production years, brands, and designs. As stated in Ford’s submission to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this project will be active until March 31, 2027. The investigation disclosed that Ford purportedly imposed penalties on dealerships for inadequate practices, amounting to $10,000 per infraction.

The campaign caters to a range of 2005-2014 Ford Mustang models, as well as the 2005-2006 Ford GT, 2004-2011 Ford Ranger, 2006-2012 Ford Fusion, 2006-2012 Lincoln MKZ/Zephyr, 2006-2011 Mercury Milan, and 2007-2010 Ford Edge and MKX vehicles. According to Ford representative T.R. Reid, only 1.5 percent of re-examined automobiles have been discovered with problems, as reported by the Freep.

Ford has previously encountered issues with repaired vehicles in the past. In 2020, the car manufacturer issued a recall for approximately 231,000 older Ranger trucks whose faulty Takata airbags had been replaced. The company deemed it necessary to examine the finished repairs as some of the trucks’ new front passenger airbag inflators were mistakenly installed, posing a risk of inadequate deployment.

The recall of Takata airbags still holds the record in the US as the largest ever, impacting a staggering 67 million vehicles across 30 different car manufacturers. Despite attempts to address the issue, millions of affected cars have yet to undergo replacement, prompting drastic measures from automakers to eliminate the hazardous inflators. Sadly, these faulty airbags have claimed the lives of 26 individuals and caused over 400 injuries in the US alone.

Leading car manufacturers such as Toyota, BMW, Honda, and others have taken drastic measures by issuing warnings against driving older vehicles that still have faulty airbags in them. In fact, Ford also took action six years ago by releasing two do-not-drive orders in relation to Takata-related defects. Thanks to their efforts, 98.5 percent of the affected vehicles have been fixed, and they are persisting in contacting the remaining customers who need to get their cars repaired.

The source of the burst inflators can be attributed to the propellant, which has the potential to deteriorate as it is exposed to moisture and changes in temperature. This poses a significant threat, particularly for older vehicles. Once degraded, the propellant can ignite a violent explosion within the inflator, launching shards into the cabin.

Source: The Detroit Free Press

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