Ford Puma cars recalled over potentially deadly seatbelt, airbag fault

Ford is recalling hundreds of cars due to a fault that could stop the seatbelts and airbags from working correctly in an emergency.

The recall notice, which was issued on Wednesday, applies to a total of 307 Ford Pumas that were made in 2023.

According to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, during the manufacturing process, the restraint control module (RCM) of the affected cars was loaded with an incorrect configuration.

The RCM is responsible for deploying safety measures if a car is in a crash.

If the RCM needs to be fixed and an incorrect replacement part is installed, the system will not display warnings and the car’s seatbelt pretensioners (which tighten the seatbelt if there is a crash) and airbags may not work.

“In the event of an accident, an airbag not deploying or seatbelt pretensioner not activating correctly could increase the risk of injury or death to vehicle occupants,” the notice said.

Ford will contact the affected owners in writing and ask them to schedule an appointment at a Ford dealership to update their RCM configuration. The work will be done free of charge.

A list of the affected cars and their vehicle identification numbers can be found here.

For more information, customers can contact the Ford Customer Relationship Centre on 133 673.

It is the latest of 10 recalls of Ford cars issued so far this year, covering cars made from 2014 to 2023.

Last month, the company issued a recall for almost 5000 Ford Ranger and Everest vehicles for a defect that is triggered when battery level drops below a critical threshold.

“Under certain circumstances, the transmission may shift in Park when travelling below 6km,” that notice said.

“This may cause a sudden stop without the rear brake lamps illuminating as intended.

“(That) could increase the potential risk of an accident, causing injury or death to vehicle occupants and other road users.”

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