Ford Motor Co. issued a recall of about 680,000 of their vehicles on December 2 after discovering a defect in the design of their seat belts.
The vehicles were recalled over concerns with the seat belt pretensioner cables’ inability to work as intended in certain situations. They are designed to instantly retract the seatbelts during a crash when the airbags are also triggered to inflate. This is done to safely secure the seat’s occupant so they don’t fly forward into the expanding airbag and risk greater injury. According to Ford, the pretensioner cables may separate as the temperature rises, causing the mechanism to fail and leave occupants unrestrained in the event of a crash. When the company announced their recall, at least two people had already suffered injuries in two unrelated crashes.
The vehicles affected by the recall include Ford Mondeos released between 2014 and 2016, Lincoln MKZs released between 2013 and 2015, and Ford Fusions released between 2013 and 2016. 653 of these vehicles are registered in federalized territories, 8,665 are registered in Mexico, 35,614 are registered in Canada, and over 602,000 are registered in the United States.
Tens of thousands of people in the United States die in motor vehicle accidents every single year, and millions more are injured. We rely on our vehicle’s safety features like seatbelts, airbags and the “crash zone” designed vehicle bodies to keep us safe in the event of a crash. When any of these features fail to perform as intended, countless people’s lives are put in danger.