DETROIT (AP) — Under pressure from government safety regulators, Ford Motor Co. is expanding a recall of the popular F-150 pickup truck to include nearly 1.2 million vehicles that may have defective air bags.
The additional recall, announced Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, covers trucks from the 2004 through 2006 model years. An electrical short can cause the air bags to deploy unexpectedly, in some cases injuring drivers.
In February, Ford agreed to fix 150,000 of the trucks but resisted the government’s wishes to recall all 1.2 million trucks that may have the problem.
The Dearborn, Mich., company said in a statement that it will notify all owners in May that they should take their trucks to a dealer who will replace an air bag wire in the steering wheel. The repair takes less than a half day, the company said.
Ford said it knows of no crashes caused by the airbag problem. But NHTSA said in a January letter to Ford that the agency knew of 269 cases in which the air bags deployed inadvertently, resulting in 98 injuries, some serious.
Ford told NHTSA in May that some drivers reported injuries that included burns from contact with the air bag, bruises, neck and back pain and minor cuts. Two customers reported broken or chipped teeth and two reported elbow or arm fractures.
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