In a statement, a Ford spokesperson said the automaker's evaluations at the time of of NHTSA's investigation led to the conclusion that "a rear axle fracture was not expected to result in loss of vehicle control, and the likelihood of a related accident or injury was extremely low."
However, said the spokesperson, "When Ford received more recent allegations of additional accidents in the summer of 2010, we re-evaluated the potential effect of rear axle fracture and decided to conduct a safety recall."
This will be the first Christmas for Sean Bowman's family without dad.
Said Justine Bowman, "Having my oldest daughter come to me and tell me, 'I just want to hug him and I can't. I will never get to hug him again'-- It's not right. It could have been prevented."