Ford loses track of dangerous air bags, forcing 2 recalls
Ford has lost track of some older Takata air bags that can explode and hurl shrapnel, so it's recalling more than 154,000 vehicles in North America to check for them.
The company on Thursday issued two recalls, with the largest coming because Ford can't find 45 obsolete air bags that may have been installed on some old Ranger pickup trucks. The company says the air bags were not purged from the stock of service parts and could have been used in crash or theft repairs.
This recall covers just over 153,000 Rangers from the 2004 through 2006 model years.
In a smaller recall, Ford found just over 1,100 vehicles that may have gotten obsolete Takata air bags in collision repairs.
Included are certain 2004 through 2011 Rangers, some 2005 to 2014 Mustangs, certain 2006 Ford GTs, some 2008 through 2012 Fusions and certain 2007 through 2010 Ford Edge SUVs. Also covered are certain 2009 to 2011 Mercury Milans, some 2010 through 2012 Lincoln MKZs, and certain 2007 through 2010 Lincoln MKX SUVs.
Ford said it's not aware of any crashes or injuries caused by the problem. The company said it's checking the vehicles at the request of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Dealers will inspect the driver or passenger air bag units and replace them if necessary. Owners will be notified starting the week of March 8.
Takata used the volatile chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the air bags in a crash. But the chemical can deteriorate when exposed to high heat and humidity and burn too fast, blowing apart a metal canister. The air bags have caused at least 27 deaths worldwide, including 18 in the U.S. About 400 have been injured.
The problem caused the largest series of auto recalls in U.S. history, with at least 67 million inflators recalled by 19 automakers. A court-appointed monitor reports that as of early January, 50 million had been repaired or were otherwise accounted for in the U.S. About 100 million inflators have been recalled worldwide.