Yesterday Ford Motor Company (Ford) announced the recall of 1.39 million small and full-size SUVs for power steering issues. Additionally Ford is 1) recalling 200,000 Taurus sedans, 2010-2014 model years, for corrosion issues, and 2) floor mat/acceleration pedal problems in 82, 576 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Lincoln Zephyr and MK sedans, 2006-2011 models. There were a total of four recalls by Ford this week, primarily in the US and Canada
Apparently the steering issue has been under investigation within Ford since 2009. After a Canadian investigation last year, Ford responded with a repair kit that was issued in January 2014. To date there have been 5 accidents with 6 people injured. The SUVs being recalled for steering issues are 2008-2011 model year Ford Escapes and Mercury Mariners and full-sized Explorers in model years 2011-2013. (USA Today, 5/29)
According to USA Today, “The issue centers around an intermittent electric connection in a torque sensor in the steering gear. When it happens, the system can detect when the driver turns the wheel, and then the system defaults to manual steering mode. In other words, no power steering. Since it takes a lot of effort to turn the wheel, a crash can result.”
After seeing an astounding number of recalls from GM, with Toyota in hot pursuit, it is disheartening to see yet another automotive company with vehicle safety issues. These are safety related defects and should be taken very seriously. Hopefully, Ford will be able to quickly and efficiently correct the safety problems with these vehicles.
If you’re driving one of the affected Ford Escapes or Mercury Mariners you won’t get your recall notice until July 25, according to current reports. According to NHTSA, the Explorer recall was issued in January of this year. See www.nhtsa.gov
If you have a concern about your vehicle, visit your local Ford dealership and ask them about safety alerts, technical service bulletins and recall notices. All you need to provide is your VIN (vehicle identification number) and the dealership can look up that information at no charge. You can also go to the safercar.gov website, powered by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, and search for the latest recalls and other important safety information.