Ford Motor Co. has elected to issue a safety recall in North America for around 1.4 million vehicles. The specific cars that are being recalled are the Lincoln MKZ and Ford Fusion.
According to Nathan Bomey of USA Today, Ford Motor Co. is recalling MKZs and Fusions made between 2014 and 2018.
Per WPRI 12 Eyewitness News, the decision was made since the steering wheel has been known to easily detach from the steering column. As a result, this puts drivers at a much higher risk to not be able to control their cars properly.
Per the Los Angeles Times' Jaclyn Cosgrove, she reports that the steering wheel bolts are the primary suspect in the affected models. She goes on to say that the bolts have trouble staying securely fastened, causing them to get loose.
In view of the problem, the automaker has taken immediate action. In a press release written by the company, they intend to remedy the widespread pattern by installing better bolts.
"Dealers will replace the steering wheel bolt on the vehicle with a longer bolt with more robust thread engagement and larger nylon patch placed properly for proper torque retention— at no cost to customers."Autoblog contributor Joel Stocksdale recently shed more light on why this issue is bad. He explains that steering wheels are designed to only move in a clockwise or counter-clockwise manner. If they happen to maneuver or veer themselves in any other direction, an issue is clearly there.
According to the Washington Post's Hamza Shaban, the issue becomes even worse due to perhaps the scariest worst-case scenario. Since owners of the affected Ford Co. models can lose control of their cars, it increases the probability of an accident. Per Shaban's findings, at least two crashes and one injury have allegedly occurred due to the steering wheel malfunction. Surely enough, this does not reflect well on one of the nation's leading dealers.
Bomey's report exhibits that the recall adversely affects about 1.3 million people in the United States. The rest of the 1.4 million affected are either from Canada or Mexico.
Based on what the WPRI 12 Eyewitness News report says, the recall has emerged about five months after an investigation kicked off. The investigation was launched by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for they already suspected that steering wheels from the 2014 to 2016 Fusion models had trouble staying attached. The safety organization took action after three different complaints were filed.
The same media outlet reveals that this is not the only safety recall that has transpired this year. In February, Hyundai had to recall over 40,000 vehicles due to wobbly steering wheels as well.
Ford's quality control issues do not end with the loose steering wheels, though. Per CNBC, the automaker is recalling another 6,000 vehicles due to a different problem. The affected models in this case are the 2013-2016 Focuses and the 2013-2015 Fusions.
Relative to the latter case, the problem affects those with manual transmissions. Via Ford's press release, the safety recall has occurred due to the risk of a possible clutch plate fracture. Clutch plate fractures pose a fire hazard, which are often generated by the wear and tear that comes from changing gears. When this occurs constantly, the plates lose their strength, which can cause transmission fluid to leak close to an ignition source.
According to Cosgrove, no fires, collisions, or injuries linked with the secondary safety recall have been reported. Akin to the steering wheel malfunctions, those who experience this complication will not be charged for the inconvenience.