The New York Times Blogs (Wheels)
September 3, 2013
Ford is recalling about 355,000 full-size sedans because of a possibility that they could lose steering, the automaker said Saturday. Another 15,000 vehicles are being recalled in Canada.
The action covers Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car models from 2005 through 2011, Kelli Felker, a Ford spokeswoman, wrote in an email. The recall is in effect in 22 states and the District of Columbia and includes about 195,000 Crown Victoria police cars.
The recall comes after an investigation this year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) into complaints of loss of steering on the 2005 to 2008 models of the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.
Ford says a corrosion problem could affect the lower intermediate steering shaft, resulting in the loss of steering, although the company said it was not aware of any accidents or injuries.
The vehicles are being recalled only in states that rely heavily on road salt in the winter. They are Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Consumer advocates including the Center for Auto Safety have long criticized such regional recalls as saving automakers money at the risk of excluding vehicles that may have problems. The NHTSA, which approves regional recalls, and automakers have defended the practice as safe and practical.
Ford said owners in other states could also have their vehicles checked and, if necessary, repaired by dealers at no cost.
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