Considering how many people have been injured or died due to Takata's defective airbag inflators, you'd think every automaker would take any Takata-related recall and run with it. Not Ford, though.
Ford will petition the government to avoid the latest Takata airbag inflator recall, Reuters reports. The company will instead "continue testing and analyzing [its] inflators," according to Reuters' conversation with a Ford spokesman.
Ford's reason for the petition? It believes this latest issue is unimportant. "Because Ford PSDI-5 inflators from the field have not shown any propellant degradation, and have pressure measurements within specification, we intend to file a petition with NHTSA to further study our inflators," said Elizabeth Weigandt, a Ford spokeswoman, via email. "At this point, there is no data to suggest a recall is needed."
Ford has 2.5 million vehicles that this new recall could affect, including the 2007-2011 Ranger, 2007-2010 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX, 2006-2012 Fusion and Lincoln MKZ and the 2006-2011 Mercury Milan. Mazda and Nissan are also involved in this latest Takata imbroglio, and Nissan already issued its own recall for some 515,000 vehicles over this issue.
This new recall came about afterthat certain Takata airbag inflators might rupture after the propellant inside degrades due to exposure to humidity or temperature cycling, even though they contain moisture-absorbing desiccants.
The original batch of Takata airbag inflators was recalled because Takata tried to cut costs by not including desiccants at all. That recall affected tens of millions of vehicles, and to date, 17 people have died and 180 have been injured as a result of inflator ruptures, which send shrapnel into the cabin rather than inflating the airbag as intended. The scandal forced Takata to, and it's since sold most of its assets to Key Safety Systems for $1.588 billion.
While there have not yet been any injuries or deaths related to this second batch of desiccated airbag inflators, that doesn't mean the parts are guaranteed to be safe after exposure to humidity or temperature cycling. Ford may be taking a serious roll of the dice on its decision to skip out on the recall.