Earlier this year, Ford issued a recall of nearly 250,000 of its F-150 trucks after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating reports of airbags deploying unexpectedly in the vehicles.
Now the Associated Press reports that Ford will be adding 1.2 million F-150s — and even several Lincoln Mark LT luxury trucks (now discontinued) – to the recall.
The issue seems to be a short circuit in the vehicle’s steering wheel. Model years affected range from 2004 through 2006. Ford will start notifying owners next month.
Air bags have saved thousands of lives and reduced injuries. But they can hurt people because they inflate quickly. Most injuries are scrapes from contact with the bag and burns from the gasses that inflate them.
Ford told National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that F-150 drivers reported burns, bruises, neck and back pain and minor cuts. Two customers reported broken or chipped teeth, and two reported a broken elbow or arm. Ford said it knows of no crashes caused by the air bag problem.
Drivers are less likely to be hurt by air bags that inflate randomly than by bags that go off during a crash, said Matthew Reed, an auto safety expert with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute who has studied air bag injuries for 22 years.
Air bags are designed to protect someone who is sitting in a driving position, and injuries are more likely when they are out of that position, Reed said. In crashes, people are often out of position due to heavy braking, swerving or other movements.
For more info, click here on the Associated Press Link.