Violation of FMVSS No. 208 Prompts Recall of Over 150,000 Ford Fiesta Vehicles

By Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari on October 12, 2012

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Ford Motor Company is recalling 154,604 Ford Fiesta vehicles due to a violation of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, “Occupant Crash Protection.” The recall was necessitated by the vehicle’s passenger-side air bag failing to deploy in the event of some side impact crashes when the vehicle’s front passenger seat is unoccupied. Even though the side curtain air bag system was designed to not deploy in the event that the front passenger seat is empty, this is not explained in the Fiesta vehicle’s owner’s guide, as is required under FMVSS No. 208.

The risk of injury to the right rear seat occupant of the vehicle increases should the side curtain air bag fail to deploy on that side of the vehicle in a side impact collision when the front passenger seat is empty.

The Fiesta vehicles included in this recall are model year 2011 to 2013 that were produced from November 3, 2009 through September 21, 2012.

Ford will notify owners of the recall and dealers will reprogram the vehicle’s software so that the side curtain air bag deployment is no longer suppressed when the front passenger seat is empty, and is consistent with the function-ability noted in the owner’s manual. Dealers will perform this repair at no cost. While there is no specific date, this recall is expected to start soon. For additional information, owners may call Ford at (866) 436-7332.

If you have sustained injury due to an air bag defect in New Jersey, the NJ air bag defect attorneys at Blume Forte can help you determine whether you may be entitled to take legal action. To speak to one of our lawyers about your potential claim, call (973) 635-5400 for a no-cost consultation.

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