Ford Motor Co said on Friday it will begin notifying owners April 1 in its new recall of 2.9 million vehicles in North America with potentially defective driver-side Takata air bags after U.S. regulators demanded the fix in January.
The second largest U.S. automaker said in January it would comply with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration request and that the recall would cost $610 million. The defect, which leads in rare instances to air bag inflators rupturing and sending potentially deadly metal fragments flying, prompted the largest automotive recall in U.S. history of more than 67 million inflators.
Takata used the volatile chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the air bags in a crash. But the chemical can deteriorate when exposed to high heat and humidity and burn too fast, blowing apart a metal canister. The air bags have caused at least 27 deaths worldwide, including 18 in the U.S. About 400 have been injured.
The problem caused the largest series of auto recalls in U.S. history, with at least 67 million inflators recalled by 19 automakers. A court-appointed monitor reports that as of early January, 50 million had been repaired or were otherwise accounted for in the U.S. About 100 million inflators have been recalled worldwide.
(With inputs from Reuters)