DRIVE BRIEFS Taurus, Sable air bags investigated

From staff, wire service reports

The federal government is investigating reports that air bags in Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable sedans failed to inflate during crashes, according to recently released documents.

At the request of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Ford Motor Co. reported 260 complaints of frontal air bags failing to deploy on 2000 and 2001 model year Taurus and Sable sedans.

Ford reported no injuries or deaths from those complaints. But NHTSA's database revealed one fatal crash in which frontal air bags failed to deploy after the driver of a Ford Taurus lost control and hit a concrete bridge rail. The driver died, and a passenger was injured.

There are 895,936 2000-2001 Taurus and Sable sedans on the road, NHTSA said.


Street rod shortcut

Looking for a shortcut to ownership of a street rod?

ASC Inc. and Hot Rods &; Horsepower may have the answer for you.

Introduced this month at a rod and custom show in Ohio, their Dearborn Deuce Convertible will be available next June at prices ranging from $10,500 to $100,000, depending on whether you want a really basic body to go on your own chassis or whether you want to buy a ready-to-drive version. There are a wide range of options in between, depending on how much work you want to contribute to the finished car. The body with manual top and power windows including windshield and electric wipers goes for $18,500.

An advantage over completely do-it-yourself street rod roadsters, this one comes with a weather-proof top and power windows, according to ASC, a company that works with major automakers to develop and produce sunroof and convertible tops and parts.

More information on equipment levels and pricing are available at

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