Ford Motor said on Thursday it will recall 3 million vehicles for air bag inflators that could rupture, at a cost of $610 million.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Tuesday ordered Ford to issue the recall for driver-side air bag inflators, turning down the automaker’s 2017 petition to avoid it.
The defect, which in rare instances results in air bag inflators rupturing and sending potentially deadly metal fragments flying, has led to the largest automotive recall in U.S. history of over 67 million inflators. Globally, about 100 million inflators installed by 19 major automakers have been recalled.
The recall consists of 2.7 million U.S. vehicles. Ford will include the cost in fourth-quarter results.
The vehicles were earlier recalled for passenger-side inflators. “We believe our extensive data demonstrated that a safety recall was not warranted for the driver-side airbag. However, we respect NHTSA’s decision and will issue a recall,” the automaker said.
NHTSA also required Mazda to recall 5,800 air bag inflators in 2007–2009 B-Series vehicles.
Takata inflators have led to at least 400 injuries and 27 deaths worldwide – including 18 U.S. fatalities with two in earlier recalled 2006 Ford Ranger trucks.
The Ford vehicles being recalled consist of various 2006-2012 model-year Ranger, Fusion, Edge, Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKX vehicles.
In November, NHTSA declined a petition filed by General Motors Co to avoid recalling 5.9 million U.S. vehicles with Takata air bags. GM said the callback covered 7 million vehicles globally and would cost $1.2 billion.
Ford separately revealed on Thursday it expects to record a pretax remeasurement loss of $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter related to pension and other post-employment benefits strategies, driven by lower discount rates.
Ford said the remeasurement loss is expected to cut net income by about $1.2 billion but did not modify expectations for 2021 pension contributions.