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Ford is recalling some 144,000 F-150 pick-ups in the US and Canada over concerns that airbags could deploy because of a short circuit.

Vehicles affected are from the 2005 and 2006 model years. The company said an assembly mistake at the Norfolk, Virginia plant could cause an airbag wire in the steering wheel to short.

Ford said it received an unspecified number of complaints about the airbag problem. In most cases, airbags had deployed just a few seconds after the trucks were started.

The company said it did not believe the condition causes unreasonable safety risks  but has decided repair vehicles most likely affected. It is recalling F-150s produced at Norfolk from 1 November 2004 to 30 June 2005.

Ford has now recalled more than 1m vehicles in the first two months of this year, more than the 600,000 recalled in all of 2010.

The F-150 is the top-selling vehicle in the US and Ford’s dominance of the lucrative pickup truck market has contributed to its turnaround. The company expects dealers to make repairs in under half a day.

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By GlobalData