WASHINGTON – Ford Motor Co. is recalling 154,604 2011-2013 model-year Ford Fiesta vehicles so the automaker can reprogram the vehicle software that controls the side curtain airbag system.

Currently, the passenger-side curtain airbag in these vehicles will not deploy during a side-impact collision if the front passenger seat is empty. Though the side curtain airbag system was designed to suppress the side curtain airbag under this scenario, this information isn’t explained in the owner’s manual, NHTSA said. 

This condition poses a safety risk during a side-impact collision, NHTSA said, if the front passenger seat is empty but someone is sitting in the right rear-seat position. In this scenario, the backseat passenger will not be protected by the side curtain airbag.

This recall covers Ford Fiestas manufactured from Nov. 3, 2009 through Sept. 21, 2012.

There will be no charge for the software reprogramming.

Ford can be reached at 1-866-436-7332.