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Ford Steering Recall Affects Nearly 1 Million U.S. Vehicles

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Tina Robinson3 years ago

Since February, recall announcements in the auto industry have been coming at an ever increasing pace. On Thursday, Ford announced four recalls affecting over 1.3 million SUVs and cars with steering issues, fire hazards, and floor mats that can cause gas pedals to jam. The largest of the four recalls, according to the New York Times, affects over 1 million SUVs with steering problems.

About the Ford Steering Recall

About 915,000 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner are being recalled for what Ford says is a steering defect. Of those recalled, an estimated 736,000 were sold in the U.S. An issue with a torque sensor can cause the car to switch into manual steering which makes the vehicle much more difficult to control. The sudden loss of power steering can lead to an increased risk of crashes.

The problem has been known by Ford since 2009. The company did make improvements to the design but never initiated a recall. In 2011, Transport Canada opened an investigation after receiving complaints from owners. In the U.S., the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says it has received at least nine claims of accidents, including six injuries related to the steering defect.

Ford is also recalling Ford Explorers with the model years 2011 to 2013. These vehicles have experienced similar steering defects as the Escapes and Mariners. In the case of the Explorers, Ford says it is aware of 15 accidents and two injuries.

In both cases, Ford has resisted recalling the vehicles because the automaker claims the vehicles are still capable of being steered. It is only after the insistence of safety regulators and the recent trend within the industry to be pro-active about recalls that has triggered Ford to action.

Recalls the New Industry Norm

Auto experts advise that large recalls are likely the new norm for the auto industry. Automakers are operating with what is described as a “heightened sensitivity” since the February GM ignition recall. Ford this year has already recalled 2.9 million vehicles compared to only 1.2 million in 2013. 


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