So....when's TOYOTA gonna correct this?
This year's record wave of automotive recalls continued Tuesday with Ford Motor Co. calling back about 101,000 vehicles in North America — including its Edge and Flex sport utility vehicles, for a variety of problems.
This latest action demonstrates how automakers are recalling vehicles for major defects and minor issues. The recalls included more than 90,000 SUVs and sedans that can have a linkage problem that shuts off power to the wheels, as well as 368 Transit Connect commercial vans because the brake fluid reservoir cap has a European rather than U.S. label.
Automakers have become sensitive to recalls after Toyota paid a $1.2 billion federal fine this year for misleading regulators about defects, and General Motors became the target of numerous federal investigations for waiting about a decade to recall cars with a faulty ignition system linked to more than 50 crashes and at least 13 deaths.
Ford's recalls bring the number of vehicles called back by automakers in the U.S. to about 40 million this year, surpassing the previous high of 30.8 million in 2004.
GM accounts for about 26 million of the recalled autos. There also have been large recalls by Toyota,
Subaru, Nissan, Honda and others. Without GM, the industry has recalled about 14 million vehicles this year, about two-thirds of the number all automakers recalled in the U.S. in all of last year, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Ford's action includes 92,022 Taurus, Lincoln MKS and Police Interceptor sedans, and Flex and Lincoln MKT SUVs, all from the 2013-2014 model years. It also includes 2012-2014 model year Edge and 2014 MKX SUVs.
All of these vehicles have a potential problem where the linkage in the powertrain to the right front wheel can break. When that happens, the engine still runs but the wheels don't get power.
Additionally, this condition may result in the car rolling away from a parked position if the gearshift is placed in "park" without the parking brake being activated. No accidents or injuries have been attributed to this problem.
Dealers will inspect the vehicles and replace parts if they see problems.
Ford also recalled 197 Fiesta compact cars from the 2014 model year because the fuel tank supplier left out an adhesive layer and the tank can leak and start a fire. Dealers will replace the fuel tanks in these cars. There were no incidents reported linked to this potential problem, the automaker said.
Additionally, Ford recalled 2,124 Escape SUVs in North America because the panorama roof glass may have an improperly cured urethane bond between the glass and the attaching bracket. The roof can leak and the glass can come loose. No accidents or injuries have been attributed to this condition.
Also, 6,000 Ford commercial vehicle and motor home chassis were recalled, either for an electrical problem or an issue with the brake system, depending on the vehicle.
Following an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Chrysler is recalling almost 895,000 sport utility vehicles because a wiring problem in the vanity mirror can cause a fire, the automaker said in a report posted Friday on the safety agency's website.
The action covers 2011-14 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango models, including about 651,000 in the United States, 45,700 in Canada, 23,000 in Mexico and 175,000 outside North America.
Chrysler said that a sun visor screw could penetrate a wire for the vanity light, causing a short circuit that could lead to a fire. The automaker said it discovered the problem in 2011 at its Detroit assembly plant, following complaints from owners about "sun visor thermal damage." It concluded that the wire was penetrated when workers at the assembly plant were repairing incorrectly installed headliners and had to remove the visor.
To correct the problem, Chrysler began making a series of changes to the manufacturing process, the last one early in 2013, "to ensure a repair operation was more robust." The company said it also discovered problems when repairs to the visor or headliner had been performed at dealerships.
In August 2013, federal regulators began an investigation, responding to owner complaints about fires near the vanity mirror. The investigation was upgraded last January to a more serious engineering analysis after NHTSA received 41 complaints about the problem and 38 reports of fires, including three with injuries. Many of the fires were minor and involved smoldering, but some owners reported more serious problems. "In some reports the fire spread to the front seats and/or door panels of the vehicle. In one report the sunroof was damaged, causing the glass to shatter," the agency reported.
In a March 19 letter, Chrysler told the agency that its internal investigation had concluded that the problem was extremely limited and resulted in little damage. The automaker also said that it had received no reports of injuries and that "there is no unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety."
The agency, however, pushed its case and the automaker agreed to the recall.
In other actions:
- The agency is investigating whether a rusted heat shield could jam the steering shaft on about 500,000 Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Mercury Marauder sedans from the 2004-07 model years. The agency said in a report that it had received five complaints from owners, including one filed in April that said the steering had locked up on a highway entrance ramp. "I could not turn the wheel. Before I knew it I hit the curb and then rolled over approximately three times down an embankment," the owner wrote, also claiming a disabling injury.
- Honda is recalling about 14,000 Acura ILX and ILX Hybrid sedans from the 2013-14 model years because the headlight reflectors could be damaged by heat, diminishing their light output, according to a report posted on the agency's website.
- General Motors is recalling almost 29,000 Saab 9-3 convertibles from the 2004-11 model years to repair the driver's side seat belt, the automaker said in a report to the agency. The automaker said the automatic tensioning retractor that keeps the belt taught could break. At the time the vehicles were assembled, Saab was a subsidiary of GM, which no longer the case.