The Fiesta models affected by the recall will not deploy their side curtain airbags, which cover both front and rear passengers, during a side impact collision if the front passenger seat is empty. This means occupants in the rear on the passenger side won't be protected by the side airbag in a collision if the front passenger seat is empty. These side curtain airbags were actually designed not to deploy in a scenario where the front passenger seat was empty (why that is is unclear), but that information was not properly presented to Fiesta owners in the manual.
Ford is currently notifying Fiesta owners whose vehicles are covered under this recall, and reprogramming the vehicle software to allow the side curtain airbags to deploy during the aforementioned side impact situations.
NHTSA Campaign ID number : 12V488000
Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
FORD / FIESTA 2011-2013
Manufacturer: Ford Motor Company Report Receipt Date: OCT 05, 2012
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12V488000 NHTSA Action Number: N/A
Component: AIR BAGS
Potential Number of Units Affected: 154,604
Ford is recalling certain model year 2011-2013 Fiesta vehicles, manufactured from November 3, 2009 through September 21, 2012. The vehicles fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, "Occupant Crash Protection." The passenger side curtain air bag will not deploy in the event of a side impact collision when the front passenger seat is empty. Although the side curtain air bag system was designed to suppress the side curtain air bag under this scenario, that information is not explained in the owner's guide for these vehicles as required by FMVSS No.208.
An occupant in the right rear seating position will not have coverage from the side curtain air bag in a side impact collision when the front passenger seat is empty, increasing the risk of injury to the right rear occupant.
Ford will notify owners and dealers will reprogram the vehicle's software free of charge so that it no longer suppresses the passenger side curtain air bag when the front passenger seat is empty, and consistent with the description in the owner's guide. The safety recall is expected to begin shortly. Owner's may contact Ford at 1-866-436-7332.
Ford's recall campaign number is 12C26. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.