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Ford Expands Takata Airbag Recall

Ford Motor Company announced on Thursday that it would expand its Takata airbag recall to include more than 500,000 vehicles. The expanded Takata airbag recall would include older Mustang sports cars that carried the airbags on the driver’s side. The new recall announcement follows closely on Ford’s decision to expand its recall of the defective airbags nationwide. The previous Takata recall limited its scope to areas of high humidity, but federal highway safety agencies called for a nationwide recall.

Safety Concerns Spark Takata Airbag Recall

The initial Takata airbag recall notices were prompted by several news reports tying the Japanese airbag deployment system to at least five gruesome deaths. The reports detailed how the chemicals in the airbag deployment system would become volatile in humid conditions. The volatile chemicals would cause the airbag assembly to propel shards of metal and plastic into the head, neck and upper torso of the drivers and front-seat passengers. Further investigations into the volatile nature of the chemicals in the inflation system sparked a limited Takata airbag recall.

Ford’s Takata Airbag Recall Includes Mustangs, GTs

Ford’s previous participation in the Takata airbag recall included only 55,000 vehicles in regions with high humidity, mostly in Florida and the Gulf Coast region. The company expanded its Takata airbag recall to include vehicles across the country after the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration called for a nationwide recall of the affected vehicles. The new Ford recall covers more than 500,000 Mustangs manufactured from 2005 to 2008, as well as 2,050 Ford GT sports cars from 2005 and 2006.

Major Automakers Affected By Takata Airbag Recall

The Takata airbag recall has affected nearly every major automaker. BMW, Dodge, GM and Chrysler have also announced that thousands of their vehicles were affected by the Takata airbag recall. However, the recall has had the most significant impact on Japanese manufacturers. Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota have issued recalls on more than a million vehicles with the defective airbags. Honda, Takata’s biggest customer, has announced a recall of more than 5 million vehicles.

Takata Airbag Recall Spurs Independent Testing

The automakers affected by the Takata airbag recalls have also agreed to hire and independent consulting firm to examine the defective airbag inflation system. The testing will confirm if ammonium nitrate, the volatile chemical used in the airbag inflation process, was the culprit behind the Takata airbag recall. Rick Schostek, an executive with Honda’s North American division, stated that an “objective, third-party testing system” will help the auto industry “achieve greater results” in determining the core issues behind the airbag flaws.

Sources: ReutersDetroit Free Press

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