Ford Motor Co. said it is recalling 144,000 F-150 pickup trucks in the U.S. and Canada because front air bags may deploy when not needed.
The recall, which applies to model years 2005 and 2006, follows a request from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker recall the vehicles. The F-150 is the top-selling vehicle in the U.S.
“During assembly, a specific air-bag wire located in the steering wheel could have been improperly positioned so that it may chafe, expose bare copper and create the potential for a short circuit that would illuminate the warning lamp,” Wes Sherwood, a Ford spokesman, said in an e-mail. “If not serviced, and unique circumstances occur, an inadvertent driver frontal airbag deployment may occur.”
NHTSA in 2009 opened an investigation into 1.3 million of the trucks from model years 2004 to 2006. In a November memo, NHTSA said it had received reports of 238 unintentional air-bag deployments causing 77 injuries. Most of the incidents occurred when the trucks were started.
The recall, which affects vehicles built at Ford’s Norfolk, Virginia, assembly plant, was reported earlier today by the Detroit News.