This morning, Ford Motor Company issued four recalls affecting more than 143,000 late-model Ford vehicles, including the Mustang, Explorer, Focus, Taurus, and F-Series pickups.
RECALL #1: 2015-17 Ford F-150 Crew Cab, 2017 F-250 and F-350 Super Duty Crew Cab
UNITS AFFECTED: 141,340, including 117,423 in the U.S., 15,715 in Canada, and 8,202 in Mexico
This recall accounts for the majority of vehicles affected by today's announcement and stems from a problem with a rear inflatable seatbelt. According to Ford, the rivet head that secures the left rear inflatable seatbelt buckle may not be thick enough to hold it in place during a collision. If the buckle separates from its mounting bracket, it won't work as intended, increasing the risk of injury to the passenger.
The recall affects vehicles built on the following dates:
- 2015-17 Ford F-150 pickups manufactured at Ford's Dearborn Assembly Plant and at Ford's Kansas City Assembly Plant between July 20, 2015 and June 16, 2017
- 2017 Ford Super Duty trucks manufactured at Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant between October 20, 2015 and June 16, 2017
Ford will mail recall notices to owners of those vehicles, asking them to schedule service appointments with their local dealerships. Dealers will inspect the rivet head on the left rear seatbelt buckle assembly and replace the entire assembly if the rivet isn't of the proper size.
If you own one of these trucks and have further questions, you're encouraged to call Ford Customer Service at 800-392-3673 and ask about recall #17C12.
RECALL #2: 2017 Ford F-150, Mustang
UNITS AFFECTED: 935, including 650 in the U.S., 279 in Canada, and six in Mexico
This is a much smaller recall than the one listed above, but the reasons underlying it pose just as serious a threat to passenger safety.
Ford says that the vehicles affected by this recall are equipped with passenger-side airbags inflators from ARC--inflators that have been under scrutiny from regulators for over a year. Though the inflators are of a different design than the deadly ones created by Takata, they may be just as fatally flawed.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has noted that ARC's inflators use a combination of high-pressure gas and ammonium nitrate to deploy airbags. Some of them appear to malfunction in the same way as Takata's, which rely more heavily on ammonium nitrate--specifically, ARC's inflators have exploded with excessive force, pelting vehicle occupants with shrapnel, and killing at least one driver in Canada.
Ironically, Ford learned of irregularities with ARC's inflators from Takata, which has been using them in its own airbags. Takata's lab tests show that ARC's inflators have a greater than average risk of deploying abnormally.
Less ironically, Tennessee-based ARC appears to have been following moves from Takata's foot-dragging playbook, refusing to cooperate fully with a federal investigation of its products. ARC folks, if you're reading this, please note that the strategy didn't work out so well in Takata's case.
The recall affects the following models:
- 2017 Ford F-150 built at Ford's Kansas City Assembly Plant between July 20, 2017 and August 1, 2017
- 2017 Ford Mustang built at Ford's Flat Rock Assembly Plant between July 20, 2017 to August 1, 2017
Ford will mail recall notices to owners of those vehicles, asking them to take their vehicles to dealerships for service. Dealers will replace the passenger-side airbag modules.
For additional information, please call Ford Customer Service at 800-392-3673 and ask about recall #17S26.
RECALL #3: 2017 Ford Focus
UNITS AFFECTED: 835, including 698 in the U.S., 132 in Canada, and five in Mexico
Ford says that some second-row, left-side seatbacks in 2017 Focus vehicles may not have been properly welded. As a result, they may not perform properly during crashes, boosting the risk of injury to passengers.
The recall affects 2017 Ford Focus vehicles built at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant between June 7, 2017 and June 12, 2017. After receiving recall notices by mail, owners will be able to take their vehicles to Ford dealers, who will inspect and, if necessary, replace the affected frame.
You can learn more by contacting Ford Customer Service at 800-392-3673 and asking about recall #17C13.
RECALL #4: 2017 Ford Explorer, Taurus and Police Interceptor Utility and Sedan
UNITS AFFECTED: 263, including 253 in the U.S, nine in Canada and one in Mexico
The smallest of today's recalls stems from a problem that could result in the loss of power steering assist. We'll let Ford explain:
"In the affected vehicles, some of the steering gear heat shield fasteners may have a surface finish with insufficient corrosion protection. Without the proper finish, the heat shield may corrode and detach from the steering gear – exposing the steering gear system to higher than expected temperatures. If the steering gear electrical connectors melt, the driver may experience sudden loss of assist without warning while driving, accompanied by the fault message 'Service Power Steering Now' in the instrument cluster. Sudden loss of power steering assist while driving would require higher steering efforts, especially at lower speeds, which may result in an increased risk of a crash. Loss of power steering assist is unlikely to be associated with accidents at higher speeds, as the amount of assist supplied reduces as vehicle speed increases."
The recall affects vehicles manufactured at Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant on the following dates:
- 2017 Ford Explorer built between May 7, 2017 and May 10, 2017
- 2017 Ford Police Interceptor Utility built between May 7, 2017 and May 8, 2017
- 2017 Ford Taurus built between May 7, 2017 and May 8, 2017
- 2017 Ford Police Interceptor Sedan built between May 7, 2017 and May 8, 2017
Ford says that dealers will inspect the steering gear heat shield fasteners on those vehicles and replace them as required.
Should you have further questions, you're asked to call Ford Customer Service at 800-392-3673 and inquire about recall #17S23.