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Ford Recalls 2022 F-150 Pickups To Repair Airbag-Related Problem

Ford has recall a number of 2022 F-150 pickups to fix an airbag problem. And, while it may look like ti is related to the huge Takata airbag issue, it isn't.

   

Although it may seem as if every airbag-related recall is somehow part of the ongoing, everlasting – or so it seems – Takata airbag recall, not every recall is related to it. Far from it, the Takata airbag recall program peaked several years ago. Takata was hauled in by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to answer the many probes that merged into the historically colossal safety recall that may involve up to 55 million vehicles or more. It is ongoing and has affected 20 automakers, including Ford and Honda.

Airbag-Related Recalls Go Back 20 Years

Suppose you aren't familiar with this particular recall. In that case, the Takata safety recall briefly involves exploding airbag housings that blow up like hand grenades and scatter shrapnel all over the interior, often injuring or killing the front seat occupants. So far, more than 27 people in the U.S. have been fatally injured by the exploding airbag housings. Across the world, dozens more have also been injured by the same devices, often fatally. The number of those seriously injured by the airbag blasts is somewhere over 200.

The recall dates from the late 1990s, when Takata decided to retain its ammonium-nitrate-based propellant. Afterward, they made some half-hearted attempts at updating their airbag housings to accommodate changes ordered by their engineering staff. It didn't go very well. Indeed, after three or four attempts at updating their airbag housings, they left the airbag world in chaos. Starting with the first recalls over 20 years ago, Takata tried fixing the problems with its airbags.

The problems had a lot to do with the conditions under which they were manufactured as anything else. Manufactured at Takata's Mexico plants, the housings were often filled with detritus and other manufacturing leftovers – shavings and the like – and were poorly sealed. The poor sealing is the real cause of the problem, as the ammonium-nitrate propellant deteriorated as moisture was able to get inside the housings. As the ammonium nitrate became more and more moisture contaminated, it strengthened to the point where it would blow the front airbag housings apart, causing the recall.

First Recalls Were In 2001 and 2002

With major recalls as early as 2001 and 2002 and on through 2008 to 2012 and into 2016, Takata tried to fix the problem in vain. Still, it was overwhelmed and ultimately went into bankruptcy after facing huge fines, and three independent manufacturers took over. They are still working to clear this up.

Ford, Honda, and 18 other automakers were involved in the safety recall, affecting more than 77 million airbag housings in millions of cars.

With this as background, of course, when you hear about an airbag-related recall, your mind goes right to the Takata recall. There are other recalls that, though dealing with airbags, have nothing to do with Takata.

Take the recent Ford airbag-related recall involving some of its 2022 F-150 pickups. According to the paperwork filed with the NHTSA, the right-side instrument panel cover may not have been manufactured correctly, which can cause the airbag not to deploy as intended.

During deployment, the airbag cover may break and send fragments into the vehicle, or the airbag may deploy improperly, increasing the risk of occupant injury. The vehicles affected fail to meet the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 208, "Occupant Crash Protection."

Relatively Small Number Of F-150s

The number of pickups is small at 74, but Ford has recalled them to ensure their owners' safety. Owners of the affected vehicles will be notified beginning on October 17. Once an owner has received a notification letter, the customer can take his vehicle to a Ford dealer, where a technician will inspect and replace the right-hand instrument panel for free.

For further information, owners of the affected vehicles can contact Ford customer service at 866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 22C23. Or, owners can contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236) or go to the agency's website www.nhtsa.gov. The NHTSA number for this recall is 22V684.

Ford Motor Photo

Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said, "You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent the usual number of misspent hours hanging out at gas stations Shell and Texaco (a big thing in my youth) and working on cars. From there on, it was a straight line to my first column for the paper, "You Auto Know," an enterprise I handled faithfully for 32 years. Not many people know that I also handled computer documentation for a good part of my living while writing YAN. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, etc. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.