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Published: Wednesday, 4/6/2011

NHTSA chief: Ford should expand F-150 air bag recall


Ford Motor Co. should expand a recall over air bag defects in its F-150 pickup trucks, the top- selling vehicle in the U.S., National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland said.

The agency, which regulates U.S. auto safety, is discussing the matter with the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker, Strickland told reporters today in Washington.

“We would like to see something larger” than the February recall of 144,000 F-150s in the U.S. and Canada, he said.

Wes Sherwood, a Ford spokesman, confirmed the talks and declined to comment on whether the automaker agrees the recall should be expanded. The February recall was for air bags that may deploy when not needed, and applied to trucks built at Ford’s assembly plant in Norfolk, Virginia.

“We are committed to safety and handling this matter in an open and transparent manner,” Sherwood said in an e-mail.

The recall this year followed a 2009 NHTSA investigation into 1.3 million of the trucks from model years 2004 to 2006. Strickland didn’t specify how many more vehicles the agency wants Ford to recall.

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