The best-selling truck in America appears to have a serious airbag defect. Ford Motor Company is recalling nearly 150,000 F-150 pickup trucks because its air bags could deploy without warning, causing the potentially lifesaving device to injure the very people it is intended to protect.
The recall involves trucks that were built at Ford's now-closed Norfolk, Virginia factory between November 2004 and June 2005. A mistake in the assembly of the trucks caused an airbag wire in the steering wheel to short circuit in at least 238 cases, resulting in nearly 80 injuries.
In most instances the airbag went off seconds after the engine was started. However, in some cases, the vehicle was on a public roadway when the unexpected deployment occurred, causing at least one passenger to reportedly jump from the vehicle. Before the deployments, a warning light appeared notifying driver's that the vehicle needed to be serviced.
Federal safety regulators are investigating Ford's recall plans and recommend that the automaker extend the recall to include 1.3 million of the trucks from model years 2004 through 2006. Ford has already recalled more than 1 million vehicles this year.