Ford Motor Company says that it will contact owners of more than 260,000 Fiesta subcompact cars to rectify an issue with the car's side curtain airbags.
That's about 110,000 more than the automaker initially planned to recall yesterday because the issue has now been applied to Fiestas sold in Canada, Mexico and South America in addition to the United States. Most Fiestas bound for buyers in the Americas are assembled in Cuautitlán, Mexico.
According to the Michigan automaker, a sensor in the front passenger's seat will turn off all of the passenger side airbags if it detects that the seat is unoccupied. As a result, the side curtain airbag that stretches between the first and second rows of the subcompact car won't deploy, even if there is a passenger seated on the rear bench.
Ford will reprogram the Fiesta's airbag computer so that the curtain airbag will inflate if it is needed in a side impact crash regardless of whether the front passenger seat is occupied.
The fix will be free and it applies to all Fiestas built from November 3, 2009 to September 21, 2013. Those Fiestas that fall under the recall are 2011 through 2013 model year subcompacts. A vehicle's build month is listed on its VIN tag located inside the driver's door well.
No crashes or injuries related to the recall issue have been reported. Ford will begin contacting owners of affected vehicles soon.