While the Ford Motor Company seems to be enjoying record stockholder interest the company has just announced it is recalling 33,000 of its 2013 C-Max model automobiles. According to a report in The Washington Post, the problem is that occupants may be subjected to more than an acceptable risk of traumatic head injury in a crash.
Tests run on the C-Max by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in a spot check, showed the Ford model vehicle failed the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 201 that covers injuries when a vehicle occupant hits the interior roof.
The NHTSA Standard 201 is also known as “Occupant Protection in Interior Impact.”
In an accident, the head can impact with the roof side rails, windshield header, pillars of the car and rear header. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is very difficult to recover from and can result from a jolt to the head that may disrupt normal functioning.
The risk was noted in C-Max models that do not have what is called the optional panoramic roof. The models in question were produced in Wayne, Michigan between January 19, 2012 and June 26, 2013, reports the Times.
Estimates are that 2,200 deaths and 13,600 injuries could occur if Ford did not upgrade the standard.
The “fix” by Ford does not exactly instill confidence.
The automaker will install a “plastic energy absorber” on the headliner between it and the roof. This allegedly will provide protection to the vehicle’s occupants. Drivers and dealers will be notified by Ford as to the vehicles included in the recall.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports about 1.7 million TBIs occur annually.