Ford to Recall 3 Million Vehicles Over Dangerous Airbags
Ford Motor Co. has agreed to replace potentially hazardous airbags in some 3 million vehicles, ending a long-running standoff with federal regulators nearly a decade after the first reports of exploding safety devices killing motorists around the world.
The announcement came just days after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rejected the company’s claim that the airbags did not need to be replaced, CNN reports. NHTSA rejected a similar argument from GM in November, forcing the auto manufacturer to recall some 7 million vehicles.
Carmakers began recalling vehicles with defective Takata airbags in 2013, citing defects that could cause the airbags to unexpectedly deploy and burst, sending shards of metal, glass, and other material into the car without warning. More than 40 million vehicles with Takata airbags have since been recalled.
The recall comes after investigators last year linked a 26th death to exploding Takata airbags. A driver was killed in Mesa, Ariz. when the airbag inflator in his 2002 Honda Civic ruptured. The tragic accident marked the 17th death linked to defective Takata airbags in the U.S. alone.
Ford, like GM, had long argued that millions of cars should not be covered by earlier recalls because the Takata airbags inside those vehicles featured a different inflator device. Federal regulators disagreed.
“Safety is always a top priority,” a Ford spokesperson told CNN. “Unlike other Takata passenger-side airbag parts previously under recall, these driver-side airbags contain a moisture-absorbing [material] and perform differently. We believe our extensive data demonstrated that a safety recall was not warranted for the driver-side airbag. However, we respect NHTSA's decision and will issue a recall.”
How California's Lemon Law Protects Car Owners
The Takata accidents and recalls are a tragic example of the serious defects that come with many new cars and which can go undetected for years after a vehicle leaves the factory floor. These defects put drivers, passengers, and anyone else on the road at risk.
Fortunately, California car owners and lessors have some important rights and protections under the state’s lemon law. An experienced California lemon law attorney can help you ensure that your vehicle is safe to drive.
The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act obligates carmakers to perform a variety of repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. It also forces the companies to buy back or replace cars that they cannot or will not fix.
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