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Ford finds problems with some of its trucks while Toyota expands its Takata airbag recall campaign

Whether you’re an existing owner interested in keeping your vehicle in good working condition, or a prospective buyer looking to put a new set of wheels in your driveway (or at least one that’s new to you), staying up to date on the latest recalls is vital.

Automobile manufacturers are constantly coordinating with government authorities to ensure that the car or truck you’re driving is as safe as it can be. When they discover something that could be amiss, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (a branch of the US Federal Department of Transportation) conducts an investigation. And if they find a problem that poses a safety risk, they work together with the automaker to identify the components that need to be repaired or replaced, and issue a recall notice. The automaker then contacts the owners of the vehicles affected, and sends instructions to local dealerships on how to fix the problem.

If everything goes smoothly, the vehicles’ owners will receive letters from the automaker inviting them to arrange an appointment to bring their vehicles into the dealership’s service department to have any repair work covered under the recall campaign carried out. But if you want to stay ahead of the curve and make sure not to miss any recalls that could affect your vehicle, here are the latest notices issued by the NHTSA over the course of the past week.

The latest issues affect a range of models from Ford, but not for their passenger cars. One affects the F-150 pickup truck, which is not only that company’s top seller, but perpetually the top-selling vehicle in America, year after year. This first issue relates specifically to 2013 and 2014 models of the F-150 equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine. After receiving 33 reports of brake failure, Ford and the NHTSA have launched an investigation into a potential brake fluid leak affecting 420,000 trucks, and will launch a recall if necessary. Four accidents were linked to the problem, but fortunately none lead to any serious injuries.

Another, relatively minor issue affects the newer 2016 models of the F-150 and has escalated into a recall campaign – albeit for only a few thousand vehicles. Ford reports that the massage function in the multi-contour front passenger seat could trick the occupant classification system into “thinking” that an adult passenger is actually a child (who could be injured by an airbag deployment), and therefor suppress the deployment of the front passenger airbag in the event of a collision. Of the 3,683 vehicles manufactured at the Dearborn Truck Plant between April 27 and November 22 of last year, 2,894 are estimated to be located in the United States, another 286 in Canada, and 503 in Mexico. Fortunately no incidents or injuries are reported to have resulted from the problem, and fixing it will involve simply updating the relevant software.

A third issue relates to the Transit van – specifically those equipped with rear seats. The issue here is the heavy objects may damage the rear seat belt buckles, limiting their ability to keep the seat belt in place. Fortunately no injuries or incidents are reported to have resulted from this issue either. But just to be safe, Ford and the NHTSA are calling in an estimated 51,470 vehicles in North America for further inspection and possible repairs, among them 48,990 in the United States, 1,781 in Canada, and 699 in Mexico. All of them were built in Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant between February 13, 2014, and January 13, 2016, covering the 2015 and 2016 model years.

For more recall updates for your vehicle click here.

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