Imagine driving down the road and suddenly realizing that the steering wheel is no longer attached to the steering column. In March 2018, Ford announced two accidents that were linked to the faulty assembly of steering wheels, which allegedly cause them to suddenly become detached from their Ford Fusion or Lincoln MKZ vehicles. One of the accidents reportedly led to an injury of unknown severity, causing the recall of around 1,301,986 vehicles in the United States. In addition, Ford recalled 62,479 Fusion and MKZ vehicles in Canada and 14,172 in Mexico.
“The steering became a little wobbly over the past two weeks,” one Ford driver reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “And on Saturday while driving to Athens, I went to turn into a gas station and the steering wheel fell off in my lap.”
Investigators found that the steering wheel bolt can come loose over time because of their inability to maintain the necessary torque. Two assembly plants are connected to the recall. One in Flat Rock, Michigan and the other in Hermosillo, Mexico. Ford recalled all Fusions manufactured at the Flat Rock plant from August 6, 2013 to February 29, 2016 and all of the Fusion and MKZ vehicles made at the Hermosillo plant from July 25, 2013 to March 5, 2018.
Ford also recalled 5,872 manual transmission Ford Focus vehicles assembled from 2013 to 2016 at the same plants because the clutch plate was found to potentially fracture under certain conditions. Engineers found that the crack could cause a fire to erupt in the engine. Ford reported the recall to authorities and told them that they have not learned of any accidents or injuries connected to the problem. Around 5,357 of the recalled vehicles were sold in the United States and the other 515 were sold in Canada.
The two recalls come on the heels of another massive Ford recall that can cause doors to fly open while the vehicle is in motion, affecting millions. Owners of a recalled Ford Fusion or Lincoln MKZ will be contacted by their dealer to schedule free repairs. However, if your vehicle was bought used, the dealership may not know how to contact you. To find out if your vehicle has been recalled please locate your vehicle’s identification number (VIN) and visit: https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls