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Ford Recalls Thunderbird Over Seat Belt Concern

Safety* Isuzu and Honda SUVs and Dodge Ram pickups are the subjects of other recent actions.

June 26, 2002|John O'Dell

As if delaying the launch of its long-anticipated Thunderbird for several months last year because of quality glitches wasn't enough of a headache, Ford Motor Co. has announced a recall of 16,500 of the cars to fix a potential problem with the driver's seat belt.

Ford representatives said the problem was detected after a 35-mph frontal crash test conducted by federal safety regulators. The driver-side seat belt was found to have been partially cut.

The company said it had received no complaints about frayed or partially cut seat belts since the two-seat roadsters went into production last year.

The repair involves revising the lower part of the seat so the seat belts won't contact the metal seat hinge in a frontal crash. The recall affects 2002 models made before April 24.

In other recent recall news:

* America Isuzu Motors has recalled 161,927 of its 1998 model Amigo and Rodeo sport utility vehicles because the computer program controlling the anti-lock braking may extend stopping distances in certain cases.

* American Honda Motor Co., which sells slightly modified Isuzu Rodeos as Honda Passports, has recalled 52,934 of its 1998 Passports for the same reason.

Dealers will provide a replacement program that is based on the programming used in ABS systems for 2000 and 2001 models of the same vehicles.

Isuzu and Honda said they would notify affected customers by mail.

* DaimlerChrysler has recalled 46,000 of its 2002 model Dodge Ram four-wheel-drive pickups because a brake line could separate from the caliper, causing loss of braking power.

Dealers will reinforce the brake assembly to prevent brake line separation.

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