Ford Motor

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said its U.S. vehicle sales for October fell 6%, while sales of passenger cars fell 12% from a year ago.

The automaker said total unit sales fell to 299,639, down from 316,954 in the year-ago period. Sales of passenger cars totaled 112,866, down from 128,015 a year ago, reflecting lower sales for discontinued lines and air bag module replacements in some models.

Truck sales totaled 186,773, down 1% from 188,939 a year ago. Sales for minivans were also affected by the air bag module problem.

The company reported that Ford Explorer sales in October declined 16% to 29,611 from 35,436, but added that sales of the Escape compact sport utility vehicle more than offset the lower Explorer sales.

To expedite replacement efforts of defective air bag modules, Ford has reduced production schedules this week and will suspend production next week at the St. Thomas and Oakville assembly plants. These actions will divert air bag modules from new vehicle production to vehicles in dealer and company inventory. Including these actions, Ford's fourth quarter North American production plan totals 1.11 million vehicles, 3% lower than the year-ago period.