Ford is recalling 154,604 model-year 2011-13 versions of the Fiesta subcompact car due to problems with the passenger side curtain airbag, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The affected vehicles were manufactured from Nov. 3, 2009, through Sept. 21, 2012 (check your vehicle's build date on a sticker on the driver-side doorjamb) and have side curtain airbags that may not deploy during a crash if the seat is empty. Although the system was designed to suppress the airbag if no one is in that position, it's not mentioned in the owner's manual as required by law. Also, the airbag could fail to protect the second-row side occupant in a crash, increasing the risk of injury.
Ford will notify owners shortly, and dealers will reprogram the system's software for free. Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.