The Ford Motor Company said late on Sunday that it is working with U.S. safety regulators to investigate a report where the driver of a 2007 Ford Mustang was injured by metal fragments from air bags in the car. The car model was part of a recall -- by several automakers involving millions of cars worldwide -- linked to faulty air bag inflators made by Japan's Takata Corp.
The complaint was filed with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Oct. 30 by the driver of the car in North Carolina, but the company did not confirm if the car involved in the accident was installed with the controversial Takata air bags. The car, which had reportedly crashed into another vehicle, deployed the air bag with sudden force, dislodging a metal fragment and injuring the driver. Ford had recalled 58,669 cars in June and 85,023 cars in October, including 61,000 Mustangs of 2005 to 2008 models.
“Based on the field reports and testing currently available, the Takata airbag inflator designs used in Ford vehicles have not shown the same risk of fragmentation as other Takata airbag inflator designs used by other manufacturers. We are continuing to investigate this issue, and we are cooperating fully with NHTSA and Takata,” Ford said in a statement, according to Reuters.
The complaint stated that the car had “crashed into the rear end of another vehicle” at a speed of nearly 35 miles per hour, and the driver had to be given immediate medical attention.
The recalls in June covered Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These “regional recalls” were reportedly made in states with high humidity after the Tokyo-based company said that the inflators could be susceptible to rupture if exposed to moisture or extreme humidity, Reuters reported.
Takata airbags have been linked to four deaths in the U.S. and one death in Malaysia. According to a recent report, Takata conducted secret tests on its air bags but ordered its workers to destroy test results of the investigation, a claim the company has denied.