Ford has agreed to recall 1.2 million of its F-150 pickup trucks. Grudgingly, it appears. According to the Detroit News, the National Highway Safety Administration warned the company that it would convene a public hearing to investigate the safety of the popular vehicle's airbag deployment system. So, Ford decided that it would save itself the "embarrassment" and recalled the vehicles in question, mostly 2004-2006 F-150's.

The NHTSA said that their investigation found that the failure rate of the air-bags was at 20 incidents per 100,000 vehicles. Ford's internal calculations put it at 5.3 per 100,000. Ford had described the problem as "caused by an electrical short due to wire chafing in the air bag/horn assembly in the steering wheel." In a somewhat comforting analysis, the Detroit News notes that the safety agency is taking a "hard line" approach toward regulating the big automotive companies. Spurred, naturally, by those "sudden acceleration" reports by Toyota car owners last year.