Automotive Safety Office
Sustainability, Environment & Safety Engineering
Fairlane Plaza South,Suite 400
330 Town Center Drive
Dearborn, Ml 48126-2738
June 19, 2014
Ms. Nancy Lewis
Associate Administrator for Enforcement
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W45-306
Washington, DC 20590
Dear Ms. Lewis:
Subject: Confirmation that Ford Motor Company (Ford) Intends to Voluntarily Participate in NHTSA’s Requested Field Service Action to Investigate Certain Driver and/or Passenger Air Bag Inflators Produced by TK Holdings Incorporated (Takata).
On June 13, 2014, the Agency requested that several vehicle manufacturers, including Ford, conduct a field service action to gather specific airbag inflators manufactured by Takata during a specified time period. The Agency stated that this is to support an inflator inspection and testing initiative in four high humidity areas. It is our understanding that Agency is interested in
studying inflators that were built by Takata at the same time as inflators used in non-Ford products that are currently the subject of an investigation by NHTSA (PE14-016.) That investigation, which does not include Ford vehicles, pertains to six reports of frontal driver or passenger air bag inflators that did not function properly during deployment. According to our information, Ford vehicles that contain inflators the Agency would like obtained are 2005 through 2007 model year Ford Mustangs, 2005 through 2006 model year Ford GTs, and 2004 model year Ford Rangers. Because NHTSA believes that humidity is a contributing factor to this condition, the Agency asked Ford to conduct a field service action for the above vehicles that are registered or were originally sold in Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Ford has not made a determination that a defect exists in the population of Ford vehicles the
Agency has identified. In order to evaluate this issue, we searched our databases where
reports of air bag deployment problems would normally be found, and did not locate any reports of problems like the ones described in the Takata inflator investigation (PE14-016.)
Nonetheless, in order to cooperate with your request and assist the Agency in its evaluation, we have decided to conduct a field service action (number 14804) to collect the subject inflators.
We understand that the Agency intends to call this field service action a Safety Recall, and designate it that way in its system to increase public awareness and customer attention. Ford has not approved a safety recall. However, to be responsive to the Agency’s request, we will send our customers a letter encouraging them to have the field service action performed,
Ms. Nancy Lewis -2- June 19, 2014
including a description of the safety consequence warning them of the potential risk that may be associated with a defective air bag inflator. In addition, to assist the Agency in its efforts, Ford will also provide quarterly completion information.
We hope this approach is agreeable to you and achieves the objectives you are attempting to accomplish. However, due to the nature of this unique Agency request, it is anticipated that service parts may not be available for many months and that we may be unable to address customer concerns during that time. Also, depending on the service procedure, it is anticipated that shipment and analysis of air bag inflators of this volume of parts may require unique processes and resources that are not currently available at our dealerships. We will work with the Agency and Takata to resolve these obstacles. Our preliminary program information follows:
• Certain 2005 through 2007 model year Ford Mustang vehicles, built at the AutoAIIiance Plant from August 1, 2004, to June 30, 2007, that were originally sold or are currently registered in Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands, and equipped with driver air bags incorporating Takata PSDI-4 inflators.
• Certain 2005 through 2006 model year Ford GT vehicles, built at the Wixom Assembly Plant that were originally sold or are currently registered in Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands, and equipped with driver air bags incorporating Takata PSDI-4 inflators (produced from April 1, 2004, to June 30, 2007) or passenger air bags incorporating Takata PSPI inflators (produced from April 1, 2004, to July 31, 2004).
• Certain 2004 model year Ford Ranger vehicles, built at the Twin Clties Assembly Plant and the Edison Assembly Plant from August 1, 2003, to July 31, 2004 that were originally sold or are currently registered in Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands, and are equipped with passenger air bags incorporating Takata PSPI inflators.
These vehicles are not produced in VIN order. Information as to the applicability of this action to specific vehicles can best be obtained by either calling Ford’s toll-free line (1-866-436-7332) or by contacting a local Ford or Lincoln dealer who can obtain specific information regarding the vehicles from the Ford On-line Automotive Service Information System (OASIS} database.
Estimated Population of Vehicles
The estimated number of vehicles, listed above, that were originally sold in Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U. S. Virgin Islands are shown below*:
VEHICLES: EST. SALES VOLUMES*
*Note: The estimated numbers of vehicles that were not originally sold in Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands but are currently registered in one of these areas, are not yet available.
Ms. Nancy Lewis -3- June 19, 2014
Owners will be notified by mail and instructed to take their vehicle(s) to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to have this field service action performed. There will be no charge to owners for this service.
Ford will work closely with the Agency on a mailing schedule for the owner notification letters, and will forward a copy of the dealer and owner notification letters to the Agency when available.
Thank you for your continuing courtesy. Sincerely,
Steven M. Kenner