Ford recalling 200,000 vehicles in five campaigns

David Shepardson
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday it is issuing five new recall campaigns covering more than 200,000 vehicles in North America, including one linked to a crash and some for air bag issues and fire risks.

The Dearborn automaker is recalling 38,645 2005-2011 Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car vehicles in North America for possible improper repair in a prior recall for an issue with the lower intermediate steering shaft. This improper repair could result in a loss of steering.

Ford is aware of one accident and no injuries attributed to this condition.

Dealers will inspect and replace the upper intermediate steering shaft if necessary. They will also inspect the steering column lower bearing and install a bearing retainer kit if necessary.

There are no other reported crashes or injuries in the other four recalls. Most of the vehicles being recalled are in the United States.

Like many automakers, Ford has seen its recalls soar this year, with 35 U.S. recalls for a total of 4.3 million vehicles. By contrast, Ford recalled 1.2 million vehicles in 2013 in the United States in 16 campaigns. The auto industry as a whole has recalled more than 55 million vehicles this year, led by General Motors Co.’s 26.5 million vehicles, nearly double the previous record of 30.8 million set in 2004.

Ford is also recalling 135,000 2014 Ford Flex and F-150 vehicles in North America for a passenger seat sensing issue that could result in non-deployment of the passenger air bag in certain frontal crashes, if an adult is in the passenger seat. This may increase the risk of injury in certain frontal crashes. Dealers will widen the gap between the manual seat frame and seat track assembly, then calibrate the seat occupant classification system.

Ford is also recalling 27,600 2014 Transit Connect vehicles in North America for a fuel and vapor line routing issue. If the lines are routed incorrectly, they may rub together, possibly causing a leak in the fuel line over time, which could spark a fire. Dealers will inspect the lines, and reroute and replace the fuel line if necessary. This will be done at no cost to the customer.

Ford also recalling fewer than 100 2015 Ford Transit vehicles in North America for an issue with the bracket that holds the fuel filter to the frame. It may become detached over time, resulting in a knocking sound or an engine stall due to fuel starvation. An unexpected engine stall while driving, with the inability to restart the engine, may lead to an increased risk of a crash. Dealers will inspect the vehicles and reinforce the underbody structure, if necessary.

Ford is also recalling about 950 2014 Ford F-150 vehicles in North America for a brake pedal position switch that may be incorrectly adjusted, possibly resulting in a delay or a non-illumination of the brake lights when the brake pedal is depressed. This is a noncompliance issue with FMVSS 108, which relates to lamps.

Drivers may need to use additional brake pressure to disengage the cruise control system, so Ford is advising customers not to use cruise control until the vehicle has been repaired. The cruise control system off switch on the steering wheel will continue to disengage the system. Dealers will remove and reinstall the brake pedal position switch.

Also Tuesday, Nissan Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. announced new small recalls in the United States covering about 6,000 vehicles.

The automaker is recalling 5,412 2014 Infiniti Q50 and Q70 hybrids because of a software error. The electric motor may stop working while the vehicle is being driven using the electric motor only. It is also recalling 817 of the same vehicles that may have been assembled with transmissions whose housings were damaged during their manufacturing. Dealers will inspect the transmission assembly and replace it if cracks are found.

Toyota said Tuesday it is recalling 5,650 2014 Toyota Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon and Avalon Hybrid cars because the left front suspension lower arm may have an improperly manufactured bolt hole where it connects to the ball joint. This could affect bolt clamping force. If this condition exists, in the event of a severe impact to the lower ball joint, which could result from varying road surfaces during normal driving, the lower arm could separate from the ball joint. Separation of the lower arm can cause a loss of steering control.