Ford Motor Recalls Millions More Takata Airbags after NHTSA Denies Petition. Separately, Continental Tires Also Recalled

Ken Zino of on Ford Takata Safety Defect Recalls

Shrapnel is on the left side of this screen capture from NHTSA Takata testing. Click to Enlarge.

Late today, Ford Motor Company announced that it will proceed with safety recall for multiple vehicles with certain Takata driver-side front airbag inflators after NHTSA denied its petition of repeal earlier this year. In another unrelated safety defect recall, Ford is recalling Continental tires.

In the affected Takata vehicles, the driver-side front airbag inflators were installed as original equipment and contain a calcium sulfate desiccant, which differed in design from the earlier recalled Takata airbag inflators that spewed shrapnel into a vehicle’s interior.

Takata determined that desiccated propellant in these inflators may also degrade after long-term exposure to high humidity and temperature cycling, which could cause an inflator to rupture during airbag deployment. (Ford Motor Still Ensnared in Takata Airbag Shrapnel Recall, Ford Again Expands Takata Air Bag Recall to 1,000,000 Vehicles)

While this safety defect could result in serious injury or death, Ford claimed it is not aware of any reports of a rupture of an airbag with calcium sulfate desiccant. Ford believes its extensive data demonstrates that a safety recall is not warranted for the driver-side airbag and in August 2017 petitioned the National Highway Traffic Administration. However, Ford said it “respects NHTSA’s decision issued in January 2021 to deny Ford’s petition and is proceeding with this recall accordingly.”

This safety defect recall covers ~2.6 million vehicles in the U.S. and federal territories, 274,737 in Canada and 46,078 in Mexico. The recall will cost Ford more than $200 per car. It includes 2006-12 Ford Fusion, 2007-10 Ford Edge, 2007-11 Ford Ranger, 2006-11 Mercury Milan, 2006-12 Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ, and 2007-10 Lincoln MKX vehicles. Dealers will replace the driver-side front airbag inflator or airbag module. Owner notifications will begin the week of April 1. The Ford reference number for this recall is 21S12.

Continental Tire Recall

Separately, according to defect notification 21T-001 filed by Continental Tire of America, tires supplied to Ford and other auto manufacturers may have cured beyond specification. Affected tires may experience a framework break in the sidewall, with sudden air loss, or a belt edge separation that could lead to a partial or full tread/belt loss. While these conditions may increase the risk of a crash, Ford claimed it is not aware of any related reports of accident or injury. This tire safety defect involves15,769 vehicles in the U.S. and federal territories, 3,082 in Canada and 138 in Mexico. Covered vehicles include 2018-20 Ford F-250 and F-350, 2018 F-150, and 2019 Ford Escape vehicles.

Dealers will inspect tires and replace those that match the suspect tire list provided by Continental Tire of America. In those cases, dealers will also replace the corresponding tire on the opposite side of the axle. If a pair of tires is replaced, the new tires will be installed/moved to the rear axle. Owner notifications will begin the week of March 29. The Ford reference number for this recall is 21S10.

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