Ford to recall 3 million vehicles for air bags at a cost of $ 610 million

WASHINGTON – Ford Motor Company on Thursday said it would recall 3 million vehicles for a broken airbag inflower at a cost of $ 610 million.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Tuesday ordered Ford to issue a recall for driver-side airbag inflowers, rejecting the automaker’s 2017 petition to avoid it.

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The flaw, which in rare cases breaks airbag influencers and sends potentially deadly metal pieces to blow, prompted the largest automotive recall in American history of more than 67 million installers. Worldwide, nearly 100 million installers installed by 19 major automakers have been recalled.

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The recall includes 2.7 million American vehicles. Ford will include the cost in fourth-quarter results.

The vehicles were first recalled to the passenger-side. “We believe our comprehensive data has demonstrated that a safety recall for driver-side airbags was not warranted. However, we respect NHTSA’s decision and will issue a recall,” Ford said.

The NHTSA also required Mazda Motor Corp. to recall 5,800 airbag inflowers in 2007–2009 B-series vehicles.

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Takata inflotors resulted in at least 400 injuries and 27 deaths worldwide – including 18 US fatalities with two in previously recalled 2006 Ford Ranger trucks.

Ford vehicles being recalled include the 2006-2012 model-year Ranger, Fusion, Edge, Lincoln Zephyr / MKZ, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKX vehicles.

In November, NHTSA rejected a petition filed by General Motors CO (NYSE: GM) to refrain from recalling 5.9 million US vehicles with Takata air bags. GM said the callback covered 7 million vehicles worldwide and would cost $ 1.2 billion.

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Ford disclosed separately on Thursday that it expects to operate a $ 1.5 million pretax submission loss related to pension and other post-benefit benefits plans in the fourth quarter at a lower discount rate.

Ford said the net income from the repayment loss is expected to be reduced by about $ 1.2 billion, but has not changed expectations for the 2021 pension contribution.

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