In February, Ford announced a limited recall of just under 150,000 of its best-selling F150 pickup trucks, citing problems with the front airbags which could cause them to unexpectedly deploy. However, today the auto manufacturer has significantly expanded this recall to include almost 1.2 million vehicles.
The expanded recall includes all F-150 trucks built for the 2004 and 2005 model years, and part of the 2006 model year. Additionally, the recall adds another vehicle, the 2006 Lincoln LT pickup truck, involving about 16,000 vehicles.
According to the manufacturer, the problem is an electrical short that can cause the airbag to deploy unexpectedly, potentially injuring vehicle occupants.In January, reports indicated 269 cases in which the airbags deployed inadvertently, resulting in 98 injuries, some serious. Reported injuries included contact burns, bruises, neck and back pain, minor cuts, chipped or broken teeth and elbow or arm fractures.
Ford expanded the recall after pressure from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which argued the defect poses a hazard for loss of vehicular control.
Ford says owners of affected vehicles will be notified in May, and should take the vehicle to a dealer, who will replace the airbag wire in the steering wheel.