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After airbag recall work, controls on steering wheel don't work: Coincidence?


I have a 2010 Ford Mustang GT. I took the car to the dealership to have the airbag replaced (because of the recall). Now, the cruise control and radio buttons on my steering wheel don’t work. No warning lights are on, and the horn still works. (And there are no other buttons on the steering wheel other than for cruise control and the radio.)

The dealership says it must be a coincidence but wouldn’t even look at it without charging me $120. I’ve decided to let them look at it tomorrow, but I assume that they will stick with their “coincidence” line and charge me for whatever needs to be repaired. What do you folks think? Could something (a wire? the clock spring? something else?) likely have gotten broken or disconnected during the airbag replacement?

I appreciate your thoughts on this!

I strongly suspect that they damaged the clock spring when they replaced the airbag. I think that you may need to contact Ford customer service at the corporate level if you want to have any hope of getting the dealership to pay for the repair.


I completely agree on both counts.

I also completely agree on both counts.
The instructions to push the problem higher up the ladder are defined in the paperwork that came with the owner’s manual.

Yes agree as well. They buggered the connection, this is no coincidence. Pay the diagnostic fee and insist they fix it and refund your money. Talk to Ford customer service and file a complaint if they don’t cover your cost.

Yep, no coincidence. They did it. Good luck!

If there were no problems with the steering wheel controls prior to the air bag service but total failure immediately after service it is somewhat certain that the mechanic botched the job up somehow. It is possible that it’s merely a connector left unconnected but it will be necessary to remove the air bag to inspect and I agree that contacting Ford customer service would be your best option.

And again an incompetent/unscrupulous shop gives all shops a bad name. What a shame.

Thanks to everyone for replying! I wanted to post back, sharing what they found, but can’t. They kept my car for 3 hours (the bays aren’t viewable by the public) and then reported that they couldn’t replicate the problem. Obviously they fixed it, but didn’t want to tell me what exactly they found or did. So I didn’t learn anything about the car problem, but I did learn something about that dealership… :confounded:

Well, at least it seems to be fixed

It’s too bad they didn’t just man up and admit to their mistake . . . there shouldn’t be any shame in that. Everybody makes mistakes from time to time. Anybody saying otherwise is a liar :smirk:

The way they handled it is quite strange, IMO . . . Fix it, but claim they can’t duplicate it, and then hand the car back. Makes me wonder what else they’re keeping quiet about :thinking:


Congratulations @katherine.hinchey. At least they took care of correcting their mistake at no cost to you. But I too believe it is better to own up to my mistakes and correct them rather than lie and try to cover them up.

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Same thing just happened to me, I took my 2008 mustang in for recall on both airbags (driver and passenger) and after I left my cruise control doesnt work any more, so I took the car back to the dealership today and they told me they never touched the steering wheel, but I said you guys changed the inflator for the airbag in the steering wheel, they said we never touched the steering wheel because the inflator is under the seat, so they lied to my face, so I go home call Ford recall customer relations and they told me the inflator is definitely in the steering wheel under the airbag in which the dealership replaced, so I reported and made a complaint about the dealership what they did and said, so I have to go back and argue with them but I should try calling head office of Ford, because they changed my 2005 mustang airbags as well and they scratched the passenger aluminum airbag cover and one side of airbag is sticking out so its not installed properly and the drivers airbag cover for horn is crooked and half pushed on so it sticks up on one side which is dangerous and hard to press horn, but they said they never touched the steering wheel in both cars. Bunch of lies they don’t want to be responsible for fixing their mistakes

Reminds me of a dept I have to work with. X is not working, put in a help ticket, works fine for me they say, try it now, ok it’s working, must be user error they say. They fix it in the background then blame the user so it does not show up as a problem on their part.