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Ford light commercials recalled over airbag

Recalls for some Ford Rangers, Couriers and Econovans over Takata airbags


Three models of Ford are the latest to be recalled by a company after a compulsory recall notice for all vehicles fitted with Takata airbags was issued last month.

Ford has recalled all Ford Rangers built from 8 September 2006 through 1 August 2011, all Ford Couriers build from 2 February 2004 to 21 September 2006 and all Ford Econovans built from 2 February 2004 to 31 October 2005.

Owners of the estimated 92,458 vehicles will receive a letter from the Ford Motor Company of Australia in the coming days, asking them to contact a Ford dealership to arrange for the free replacement of the vehicle’s airbag inflator.

The move comes after a safety investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which found vehicles fitted with Takata airbags had caused injuries and fatalities when a vehicle’s airbag inflator ruptured when the vehicle was involved in an accident.

The ACCC study found some Takata airbags that use a chemical called phase-stabilised ammonium nitrate (PSAN) as a propellant, but were put together either without a drying agent or one that was calcium sulphate.

“Due to the defect, as the airbag ages and is exposed to high temperatures and humidity, the PSAN propellant is exposed to moisture and degrades,” the ACCC said.

“If this happens, when the airbag is triggered and deploys (in a collision), it may deploy with too much explosive force, rupturing the airbag inflator housing so that sharp metal fragments shoot out and hit vehicle occupants, potentially injuring or killing them.”

That investigation led to assistant minister to the treasurer Michael Sukkar launching a compulsory recall of all vehicles fitted with the airbags, the first of its kind in Australia, and one that is expected to capture all vehicles on the road with the design flaw, estimated to be about 2.3 million vehicles.

“Worldwide, there have been at least 23 deaths and over 230 serious injuries reported as associated with defective Takata airbags. In Australia last year, a man was tragically killed and a woman was seriously injured,” Sukkar said in an announcement.

The recall requires suppliers of vehicles with the defective Takata airbags to replace all of them by 31 December 2020 – with companies such as Volvo and Hino Trucks having previously launched voluntary recalls.

A subset of the Takata airbags sold in certain Honda, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Mazda and Lexus brands, known as the Alpha airbags, have been found to pose the “most severe risk” of misdeployment, with the ACCC urging owners of these vehicles to have them replaced immediately.

“It is critical that owners of cars with Alpha airbags installed take immediate steps to have the airbags relaced because of the significant risk of injury or death involved in using cars with these bags,” the ACCC says.


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