Reports of airbag burn injuries and airbag components setting fire to other parts of the vehicle interior have prompted US safety regulators to intensify another investigation into defects in Ford’s Focus compact car, according to a Reuters report.

The report said there have been 130 complaints of burn injuries from Focus airbags as well as 18 reports that the deployed airbags caused other parts of the vehicle to catch fire.

The car – a strong seller on both sides of the Atlantic, and about to be launched in Australia and New Zealand, was introduced in the US in 2000, intended to lure young buyers to the Blue Oval, but has so far been subject to nine safety recalls while six investigations into possible defects are still pending, Reuters said.

The news agency said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) earlier this month upgraded the investigation into 576,700 of the 2000 and 2001 model year Focus cars to an engineering analysis, a step that often precedes a recall, adding that NHTSA reported that Ford had received 100 complaints about the Focus’ airbags, adding to the 40 already made to NHTSA.

The Reuters report and others circulating in the US say there are real signs that regular negative publicity over recalls or alleged safety defects is hurting Focus sales – it is now outsold by GM’s ageing Chevrolet Cavalier, for example – and the car has been given an advertising push by Ford chairman Bill Ford himself.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Ford claims to have improved Focus quality and warranty claims are down, the latest Reuters report also said.