Not just the airbag, but the whole damn wheel

Riley Riley

The Takata airbag recall is a huge problem affecting all vehicle manufactures, not just here but around the world.

The enormity of the problem can be seen in the number of vehicles affected and the short supply of new airbags to replace the faulty ones.

Ford says it has replaced the airbags in 60 per cent of its vehicles that are affected, trekking as far as Thursday Island, the Outback and remote mining camps in Western Australia.

In one case, the company flew a technician into remote South Wesley Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria to complete one airbag repair.

In total Ford has revealed that it initially planned to recall 107,401 Mondeos, Econovans, Couriers and Rangers thought to be affected by the mandatory Takata recall in Australia.

Ironically, however, it has been able to scale back this number after discovering some of these vehicles were not in fact fitted with airbags at all.

Seriously? You bet.

Ford says 15,776 Courier utilities were found not to have been fitted with airbags.

“The initial data indicated a driver’s airbag was optional on such vehicles, so to be conservative Ford included all these vehicles in the original recall.

“However, subsequent data and repair records have since confirmed these Couriers contained no airbags,” the company says.

So, instead of 107,401 vehicles, it only has 92,000 vehicles to repair.

And get this, in some Mondeos, they need to replace the entire steering wheel along with the airbag.

Service Engineering Manager, Tim Nethercote, said the repair work on the Mondeos differed from the Econovan, Courier and Ranger.

“Because of the steering wheel design specific to Mondeo, we’re actually replacing the steering wheel along with the affected Takata inflators for the 2007-09 models, and the full driver airbag module for the 2014-17 model,” he said.

For the 2007-09 models, Mr Nethercote said the affected Mondeos had four different steering wheel designs and each would be replaced free of charge.

Older vehicles are being prioritised first, with NSW and Victoria the States with the highest number of affected Mondeos.

The repair work is free and takes less than half a day.

Customers urged to check their 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number at here

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