Ford Recalls 16,500 ThunderbirdsJun 14, 2002 | WDIV ClickOnDetroit.com
Ford Motor Co. is recalling 16,500 Thunderbirds because it found that a seat belt partially tore in a crash test, the company said Friday.
The automaker is concerned about the potential for the driver's side safety restraint to cut during severe frontal collisions. That's what happened during a 35 mph test into a solid barrier as part of a U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration new car evaluation.
Thunderbirds built after April 24 are not affected by the recall.
The belt did not fully separate and the driver-side test dummy remained restrained throughout the test, according to Ford. The company said Friday that it has not received any reports of the safety belts cutting from owners.
Thunderbird owners will begin receiving notices about the recall next week, and dealers will service the vehicles free of charge, Ford said.