Ford F-150 airbag safety probe expanded by U.S. regulators
January 21, 2010 - 3:00 pm ET
NHTSA says some 1.56 million Ford F-150 trucks from the 2004-2006 model
years are being investigated.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- U.S. regulators have expanded the scope of an
investigation into complaints that airbags on certain Ford Motor Co F-150
pickups deployed without warning and caused dozens of injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration made documents public
this week that show the agency is now looking at model year 2004-06 trucks,
covering an estimated 1.56 million vehicles. That is triple the number
identified when the agency launched a preliminary review of 2005 pickups
Safety engineers have upgraded the investigation of the best-selling F-150
to an engineering analysis, which can precede a recall. The government gave
no indication that a recall was the next step.
Ford said it was too soon to speculate on an outcome but was cooperating
with the investigation, which covers more than 300 complaints to the
automaker from F-150 owners that the driver's side airbag deployed without
warning and not as a result of a crash.
More than 60 people reported injuries, including cuts to the face, arms and
hands, NHTSA said. Two owners reported losing consciousness after being
struck by the airbag.
Ford believes the problem is most likely caused by an electrical short in
the airbag/horn assembly. Ford made design changes for 2007 model year