Ford Recalls 1.3 Million Vehicles

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Washington, DC: Ford Motor Company (Ford) has issued a recall of 1.3 million vehicles in North America, largely due to defective power steering in SUVs, which results in 20 reported accidents, USA Today reports.

The largest number of vehicles affected by the recall is 915,216 Ford Escapes and the now-discontinued Mercury Mariner, including 2008 to 2011 model years. All the recalled vehicles were manufactured Ford's Kansas City plant, with 736,407 SUVs believed to be in the US and the remainder in Canada and Mexico.

Ford has issued a separate recall for the same potential issue in 195,527 full-size Explorer SUV made at Ford's Chicago plant, model years 2011 to 2013. Ford says 177,747 of the recalled vehicles are believed to be in the US.

USAToday reports that "Ford is aware of five accident reports involving a total of six injuries related to the defect in Escape and Mariner. On Explorer, there are reports of 15 low-speed accidents and two minor injuries."

The defect in both the Escape/Mariner and Explorer affects the power steering potentially causing a loss of steering. The issue has been under investigation on the Escape within Ford since 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration filing. Canadian authorities opened an investigation in 2011. In January, Ford came up with a procedure and parts that allowed dealers to fix the problem without replacing the entire steering column. The defect in the Escape and Mariner involves a torque sensor inside the steering column.

Additionally, Ford is recalling certain model year 2010-2014 Taurus vehicles manufactured November 24, 2008, through February 28, 2014, originally sold in, or currently registered in, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. When used in areas that use road salt, the license plate lamp assembly may experience an electro-chemical reaction and corrosion as a result of water intrusion. Approximately 196,639 vehicles are covered by the recall. Ford is reportedly aware of 18 reports of fire, with one instance resulting in injuries to the driver, when he tried to smother the fire with his bare hands. .

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