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Ford recalls 400K Transit vans for possible power loss

Ian Thibodeau
The Detroit News

Dearborn — Ford Motor Co. is recalling more than 400,000 Transit vans and buses to fix cracked drive shaft couplings that can cause the vehicles to lose power.

The recall covers North American vans, buses and chassis cabs with medium, long and extended wheelbases from 2015 to 2017, and will cost the company an estimated $142 million, according to a Wednesday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Ford said in a statement that the cracked coupling could cause separation of the driveshaft, causing a loss of power or unintended vehicle movement while the Transit is in park.

The company says it’s not aware of any crashes or injuries from the problem.

In April, Ford blamed part of a 35 percent drop in first quarter profits compared to the same period a year ago on safety recalls that cost the automaker roughly $295 million. The Transit recall will be reflected in Ford’s North American business unit, according to a Wednesday SEC filing.

“Updates, if any, to our guidance for full-year 2017 total company adjusted pre-tax profit will be provided in connection with our earnings results for the second quarter of 2017,” which are reported at the end of July, Ford said in that regulatory filing.

The Transit couplings begin to deteriorate in vehicles with more than 30,000 miles on them, according to Ford. Drivers with less than 30,000 miles on the vehicle — or who have had the coupling replaced within the last 30,000 miles will not need a repair, according to Ford.

However, since Ford has not developed a permanent fix for the coupling, drivers should schedule an appointment with a Ford dealer for interim repairs every 30,000 miles until the company solves the problem.

“We are working quickly to make it available as soon as we can,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Weigandt said.

Owners will be notified by mail and will get another letter once the permanent repair is available, according to a Ford statement. Roughly 402,462 vehicles in North America are affected.

The Ford reference number for the recall is 17S15.

In addition to the Transit recall, Ford also issued a recall for four Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles to repair second row seat attachment studs, and three Ford Escape vehicles to fix knee airbag modules.

Dealers are contacting those drivers to schedule service appointments.

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau

The Associated Press contributed