Ford Motor Co. said it is recalling 262,000 Fiesta subcompact vehicles from model years 2011 through 2013 to reprogram the passenger side curtain air bags.
The vehicles were originally programmed so the passenger side air bags would not deploy, in certain crashes, if the front passenger seat were empty, Ford said.
However, this information is not explained in the vehicle owner’s manual, according to the official recall notice posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In the event of a side impact crash, the passenger side curtain airbag will not deploy unless a person is seated in the front passenger seat. This poses a risk to a rear passenger, since they will have no airbag for protection, unless someone is seated in the front passenger seat.
Because of this defect, the owner’s manual contains inaccurate information, which means it also does not comply with federal safety standards.
Ford says it is not aware of any crashes or injuries linked to this problem.
The recall includes 154,604 Fiestas in the United States, with the remainder in Canada, Mexico and South America. These cars were built in Mexico from November 2, 2009 through September 12, 2012.
Ford says that a software update will enable the side curtain airbag to inflate regardless of whether or not someone is occupying the front passenger seat. This repair will be resolved free of charge.
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