Ford Motor Co. announced a major safety recall involving about 1.4 million cars in North America over concerns that the steering wheel could come off the steering column, causing drivers to lose control.
The Ford recall affects certain model-year 2014 through 2018 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ cars. Most of the recalled cars – about 1.3 million – are in the U.S. Another 62,000 vehicles in Canada and 14,000 in Mexico are included in the recall.
Ford announced the recall after company officials found that the cars have “potentially loose steering wheel bolts that could result in a steering wheel detaching from the steering column.”
Ford said that the problem stems from the bolt that secures the steering wheel to the steering column. The bolt “may not maintain torque, allowing (it) to loosen over time” if not serviced.
Ford said it is aware of two accidents that were apparently caused by the problem. One of those accidents resulted in an injury, the automaker said.
Affected vehicles include:
- 2014-17 Ford Fusion vehicles built at Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan, Aug. 6, 2013, to Feb. 29, 2016;
- 2014-18 Ford Fusion vehicles built at Hermosillo Assembly Plant in Sonora, Mexico, July 25, 2013, to March 5, 2018;
- 2014-18 Lincoln MKZ vehicles built at Hermosillo Assembly Plant, July 25, 2013, to March 5, 2018.
Ford 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, The repair will be free of charge to customers.