Ford Recalls Nearly 423,000 Defective Cars
The last 18 months have been tough for the car industry. Multiple mass scale recalls have been put into effect by General Motors and, Japanese air bag manufacturer, Takata and both companies face harsh penalties from federal regulators.
These recent fiascos have also put the federal government’s watchdogs under some scrutiny. There is now a lot of pressure for government safety monitors to catch these potentially catastrophic defects before anyone is hurt. In response to this pressure, U.S. safety regulators have convinced Ford to recall nearly 423,000 cars and SUVs in North America because the power-assisted steering can fail while they’re being driven.
The recall covers certain Ford Flex and Taurus vehicles, as well as the Lincoln MKS and MKT from the 2011 through 2013 model years. Also covered are the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ from 2011 through 2012 and some 2011 Mercury Milans.
The issue seems to be that an intermittent electrical connection can cause the power steering to stop. That sends the steering into manual mode, making the vehicles harder to control. The company says it knows of four crashes due to the problem but no injuries.
While the scale of this recall is small compared to what we have seen at GM and due to faulty Takata air bags –a recall that expanded this month when Mazda recalled 472,000 vehicles in the US – it’s another potentially life-threatening defect on a car.
Dealers will either update power steering control software or replace the steering gear depending on the problem with individual vehicles.
In October, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating complaints of power-steering failures on three Ford midsize car models. The probe covered 938,000 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ cars from the 2010 through 2012 model years, as well as the 2010 and 2011 Mercury Milan.
There is a pending class-action lawsuit, which was filed in June, that claims the problem could affect more Ford models, including the compact Focus. Investigators are working to nail down exactly how widespread are these defects.
NHTSA said at the time that it received 508 complaints alleging that the cars lost power-assisted steering, causing increased steering effort. Ford said it was unsure if the agency would close its investigation because of the recall.
Ford’s issues with its cars are not limited to this one defect. The company also is recalling about 19,500 2015 Mustangs with 2.3-Liter engines due to high underbody temperatures that could degrade the fuel tank and fuel vapor lines, increasing the risk of a fire. This was a preemptive move by Ford since no fires have been reported. The swift recall order will probably keep the casualties due to this particular problem low.
If you have been injured by a defect on a car, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the vehicle or a part. Call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077 for a free consultation. When it counts, count on Cooper Hurley.