More than a million cars recalled.
Ford has announced it will recall 1,378,637 vehicles to fix steering wheels that could come loose and detach from the steering column just when you need it most: while driving. NHTSA first began investigating the issue during 2017, but the latest recall shows the defect is far more widespread. The last five model years of Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans built in both Flat Rock, Michigan, and Hermosillo, Mexico have been called back to fix a steering wheel bolt.
“In affected vehicles, the steering wheel bolt may not maintain torque, allowing the bolt to loosen over time, and if not serviced, a steering wheel could potentially detach and lead to a loss of steering control and increased risk of a crash,” the automaker said in a statement. Elsewhere, Ford said it was aware of “two accidents with one injury allegedly related to this condition.” In total, the recall covers 2014-2017 Ford Fusions built at Flat Rock Assembly between August 6, 2013, and February 29, 2016; 2014-2014 Fusions built at Mexico’s Hermosillo Assembly between July 25, 2013 and March 5, 2018; and 2014-2018 Hermosillo built MKZs over the same time frame.
As for the solution: “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.” At the same time, Ford also announced it would recall 2013-2016 Focus sedans equipped with the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine and manual transmission, along with 2013-2015 Fusions equipped with the 1.6-liter four-cylinder and the same gearbox. The is due to a clutch issue that could cause it to fracture and leak transmission fluid on hot engine parts, causing the car to catch fire.