Ford has recalled over 400,000 vehicles in North America due to intermittent electric power steering problems that can cause the power steering to fail, sending the steering into manual mode, making the vehicles difficult to control and increasing crash risk, according to Car and Driver. In a separate announcement, Ford is also recalling 19,485 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoosts for “elevated underbody temperatures” that could harm fuel and brake lines.
The power steering recall impacts 393,622 vehicles sold in the U.S., including the following models:
- 2011-2012 Ford Fusion
- 2011-2013 Ford Taurus
- 2011-2013 Ford Flex
- 2011-2013 Lincoln MKS
- 2011-2013 Lincoln MKT
- 2011-2012 Lincoln MKZ
- 2011 Mercury Milan
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began an inquiry into the power steering problems in October 2014 after receiving over 500 complaints. Ford initially was reluctant to issue a recall, stating in a December 2014 letter to the NHTSA that the issue “does not present an unreasonable safety risk,” according to Auto News.
Four minor accidents without injuries are potentially related to the electric power steering failure, although documents Ford filed with regulators list over 30 incidents reported by dealers and insurance companies involving vehicles striking curbs, poles, guardrails, and other objects after the driver said the power steering failed, and some reported injuring their backs or shoulders while trying to steer the vehicles. Ford reports it is not aware of any accidents, injuries, or vehicle fires related to issues with the Mustang.
Fixing the Problems
Regarding the vehicles recalled for electric power steering failure, Ford says dealers will scan for diagnostic trouble codes and update the power steering control module’s software or replace the steering gear entirely, if necessary. The fix for the Mustangs involves installation of a new fuel tank heat shield, thermal patches on the fuel tank and parking brake cables, and thermal wrap on the fuel-vapor lines.