Ford Bagged Again by NHTSA

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai
In a fight with NHTSA regulators, Ford came out on the short end again, as more Takata airbags were at issue. This time, it will cost the automaker $610 million, of which they will have to carry the cost in its entirety.
Takata, the Japanese company whose name is now synonymous with airbag failures and bankruptcy, was at the center of the largest recall in automotive history. That a single supplier was able to put their airbag on so many different vehicles around the world says volumes for globalization and the cost-cutting measures that would lead OEMs to Takata. According to a CNN.com story, Takata airbag recalls began in 2014, and prior to this week’s announcement, had reached 67 million airbags in more than 40 million vehicles in the U.S. alone.Previously in Japan, leaders of companies like Takata would publicly declare their guilt, ask all who were affected for their forgiveness, and to clear the names of their families, would commit seppuku. If that term is unfamiliar, it’s also known as hari-kiri, to publicly disembowel yourself to rid yourself and your family of shame. Sadly, to the best of my knowledge, none of the corporate heads of Takata had the decency to observe this tradition, and it should continue to hang over the heads of not only Takata’s directors but their families, too (Ed. note — this is a joke and meant to be taken as such). Three Takata executives, Shinichi Tanaka, Hideo Nakajima, and Tsuneo Chikaraishi, were indicted by a grand jury in Japan. All three had worked for Takata in the U.S. and Japan until around 2015 when it was first noted that there were problems with their airbags.Ford argued unsuccessfully that the Takata airbags used in the models and years affected by this recall are different than those involved in the previous recalls. NHTSA safety regulators said they still pose a risk and rejected Ford’s assertion. Models covered by the recall include the 2007-11 Ford Ranger, the 2006-12 Fusion, the 2007-10 Edge, the 2006-12 Lincoln Zephyr, and the 2007-10 MKX. You will receive a notification if your vehicle is included in the recall, you can enter the VIN number on Ford’s website, or check with your local Ford dealer. Ford will repair the airbags free of charge, and your local dealer may provide a loaner car if you ask nicely.[Images: Ford]
Jason R. Sakurai
Jason R. Sakurai

With a father who owned a dealership, I literally grew up in the business. After college, I worked for GM, Nissan and Mazda, writing articles for automotive enthusiast magazines as a side gig. I discovered you could make a living selling ad space at Four Wheeler magazine, before I moved on to selling TV for the National Hot Rod Association. After that, I started Roadhouse, a marketing, advertising and PR firm dedicated to the automotive, outdoor/apparel, and entertainment industries. Through the years, I continued writing, shooting, and editing. It keep things interesting.

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  • Theoldguard Theoldguard on Jan 25, 2021

    Best Overall: Trans-Am SD 455. Weirdest: Hurst Rambler Classy Sleeper: GS 455 Garish: Superbird Cheap and Fast: Duster/Demon 340

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Jan 25, 2021

    The Cougar in the photo would be cool.

  • ToolGuy Friendly reminder of two indisputable facts: A) Winners buy new vehicles (only losers buy used), and B) New vehicle buyers are geniuses (their vehicle choices prove it):
  • Groza George Stellantis live off the back of cheap V8 cars with old technology and suffers from lack of new product development. Now that regulations killed this market, they have to ditch the outdated overhead.They are not ready to face the tsunami of cheap Chinese EVs or ready to even go hybrid and will be left in the dust. I expect most of their US offerings to be made in Mexico in the future for good tariff protection and lower costs of labor instead of overpriced and inflexible union labor.
  • MaintenanceCosts This is delaying an oil change for my Highlander by a couple of weeks, as it prevented me from getting an appointment before a business trip out of town. Oh well, much worse things have happened.I also just got a dealership oil change for my BMW (thanks, loss-leader prepaid plans!) and this didn't seem to affect them at all.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Gonna need more EV fuel.
  • Lou_BC There's a company in BC that has kits for logging trucks and pickups. They have "turn key" logging trucks too. What they market is similar to what Ram wants to sell. The rig runs on batteries and a generator kicks in when depleted. On the West Coast logging in the mountains they found that the trucks run mostly on regen braking. The generator doesn't kick in much. Going up mountain, the truck is empty.
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