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Old 07-09-2003, 07:40   #1 (permalink)
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United States:NHTSA looks at Ford air bag problem

Some in Taurus, Sable didn't inflate in crash
July 9, 2003

ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON -- The federal government is investigating reports that air bags in Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable sedans failed to inflate during crashes, according to documents released Tuesday.

At the request of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Ford Motor Co. reported 260 complaints of frontal air bags failing to deploy on 2000 and 2001 model year Taurus and Sable sedans.

Ford reported no injuries or deaths from those complaints. But NHTSA's database revealed one fatal crash in which frontal air bags failed to deploy after the driver of a Ford Taurus lost control and hit a concrete bridge rail. The driver died and a passenger was injured.

A Ford spokesman did not return a telephone message Tuesday seeking comment. There are 895,936 2000-2001 Tauruses and Sables on the road, NHTSA said.

NHTSA upgraded the level of the investigation after conducting preliminary research and requesting data from Ford. NHTSA's investigations can lead to a recall, but many are eventually dropped.

"This is just a closer look," NHTSA spokeswoman Liz Neblett said Tuesday.
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