Airbags, found in Ford’s F-150, have safety experts and consumers concerned. The airbags, in certain Ford models, deploy at the wrong times. The Ford F-150 is one of the most popular vehicles that Ford manufacturers; therefore, millions of consumers have been affected by this recall.
In Oklahoma City, the defective product attorneys at the law firm of Atkins and Markoff handles large product liability cases on a regular basis. Due to this recall, many consumers reported injuries, which may result in Ford being sued. Ford is aware of reports that resulted in minor burns, bruises, neck and back pain, and cuts because of the airbag deployment. Other consumers have reported broken arms, elbows and chipped teeth.
FORD RESPONDS TO CONSUMER COMPLAINTS
According to a spokesman at Ford,
“We thought the air bag warning lamp was sufficient notice to customers that the vehicle needed service well before air bag deployment, and most owners would then get it serviced.”
Another representative of Ford stated that the company was
“Aware of the reports, but they did not involve accidents. …The vast majority are reports of minor injuries such as bumps and contact abrasions, similar to rug burns. Many of the reports are ambiguous.”
Ambiguous or not, these reports have led to the recall of the Ford F-150 which is Ford’s top-selling automobile. The recalled vehicles make up approximately 18% of Ford’s sales, which means that millions of consumers have been vulnerable to the risk of the defective airbag.
Currently, Ford has recalled the following:
2004 Ford F-150
2005 Ford F-150
2006 Ford F-150
2006 Ford Lincoln Mark LT
F-150 MODEL AIRBAGS DEFECTIVE DUE TO ELECTRICAL SHORT
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, regulates car safety by standardizing manufacturers, which allows the administrative agency to achieve the “highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle and highway safety.” NHTSA attempts to prevent wrecks, save human lives, and lower costs of transportation.
NHTSA pressured Ford to recall the F-150 because of reports of the truck deploying the driver airbag when no wreck or crash had occurred, causing injury to drivers. Due to an electrical short found in the 2004, 2005, and some 2006 models of the Ford F-150, Ford recalled these trucks after NHTSA pressured Ford to fix the problem.
NHTSA, responding to recent vehicle manufacturer recalls from other well-known companies, has increased their expectations and standards. Consumers, such as Ford and Toyota, are feeling pressure to conform due to NHTSA’s main goal of protecting consumers. NHTSA found that 250+ cases were reported concerning the Ford F-150, which caused 98 injuries. Ford initially resisted these recalls, but the NHTSA told Ford “the potential for loss of vehicular control poses an unreasonable risk to safety.” Furthermore, Ford, like Toyota, will most likely be fined by NHTSA because the companies did not handle the recalls appropriately.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A RECALLED FORD VEHICLE
Consumers will be informed in May to take their 2004, 2005, or 2006 Ford F-150s to a local dealer for the recall. The local Ford dealers will replace the air bag in the steering wheel, which is forecasted to only take half of the day. Trucks manufactured by Ford after 2006 do not have issues because Ford fixed the wiring problem causing the airbag deployment.
Consumers that have been injured or hurt by defective airbags can consult a defective product attorney for an explaination of lawsuit options. Consumers need to know that bearing the burden of costs for these manufacturing defects caused by Ford is not legal or ethical. Atkins and Markoff, Oklahoma City’s best personal injury law firm, knows the type of potential lawsuit consumers face and how best to achieve the results each consumer desires.