Ford Motor Co. has announcing a voluntary safety recall of 1.4-million model year 2001 cars and trucks to inspect the front driver-side and front passenger-side seat belt buckles. The front center and all rear seating position seat belt buckles are not affected.
The recall affects the 2001 Ranger and F-Series light trucks and the Mazda B-Series truck, all built from the beginning of the 2001 model year through May 26 of this year.
Due to outside supplier manufacturing issues, according to Ford, a small percentage of these seat belt buckles may not latch properly if insufficient force is applied when inserting the tongue into the buckle. If the seat belt release button does not return to its full “up” position upon latching, the buckle may not be fully latched.
Owners affected by the recall will be notified via first-class mail to return the vehicle to a Ford or Mazda dealer to have the seat belt buckle operation tested. Buckles identified as potentially defective will be replaced. Testing, and any resulting seat belt buckle replacement, will be completed at no charge.