Ford Motor Co. said Thursday it will comply with a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration request to greatly expand a recall of vehicles that have a driver’s-side air bag that can explode, sending shrapnel into the vehicle cabin.
The problem is with air-bag inflators made by auto-parts supplier Takata Corp. The defective inflators – which in some cars are on the passenger’s side, depending on the model and the brand – were installed in millions of vehicles produced by Ford, Honda, BMW, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan and others.
Exploding air bags are believed to have killed at least five people in the U.S., according to the Center for Auto Safety.
Ford said it is aware of one accident with an injury that may be related to the issue in its vehicles.
Ford said it is expanding its recall on Takata driver’s-side air-bag inflators by 447,310 vehicles. That brings the total number of Ford vehicles being recalled for Takata air-bag inflators to approximately 538,977. About 460,000 of those cars are in the U.S. Most of the remainder are in Canada.
The expanded recall includes 2005-2008 Ford Mustangs built from Aug. 18, 2004 to June 25, 2007 at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan, and 2005-2006 Ford GT vehicles built Feb. 11, 2005 to Jan. 30, 2006 at the Wixom Assembly Plant, also in Michigan. Dealers will replace the air-bag inflators at no cost to the customer.
Automakers have recalled nearly 60 million vehicles in the U.S. this year. That’s almost one out of every four cars in the U.S., and eclipses the annual recall record of 30.8 million vehicles set in 2004.