Ford announced on Wednesday it is recalling 1.38 million vehicles across North America. The recall is for faulty steering wheel bolts that can come loose, causing the steering wheel to detach. In the statement, Ford said they were aware of at least two accidents caused by the detachable steering wheels and only a single injury. Those affected by the recall can take their vehicle to a Ford dealership to have the parts replaced with longer bolts with a more robust thread and larger nylon patch to properly hold the torque.
According to Ford, the recalled vehicles include:
- 2014-17 Ford Fusions built at Flat Rock Assembly Plant between August 6, 2013, and February 29, 2016
- 2014-18 Ford Fusions made at Hermosillo Assembly Plant from July 25, 2013, through March 5, 2018
- 2014-18 Lincoln MKZ vehicles built at Hermosillo Assembly Plant from July 25, 2013, through March 5, 2018
In total, Ford is recalling 1,378,637 cars across North America with 1,301,986 in the United States, 62,479 in Canada, and 14,172 in Mexico. Owners should use recall number 18S08 when contacting Ford to schedule their vehicle’s service.
Ford also announced a recall for 2013-2016 Focus models with 1.0-liter Fox GTDI engines paired with the B6 manual transmission, as well as 2013-2015 Fusion models with the 1.6-liter Sigma GTDI engines with the B6 manual transmission.
According to Ford, the repeated “high-energy clutch slip input” made while changing gears can lead to wear on the clutch lining, which reduces the “mechanical properties of the pressure plate material.” This wear can cause excessive slip within the clutch, which produces more heat than average. Repeated cycles of heating and cooling may cause cracks in the pressure plate, leading to eventual failure of the part, and the production of excessive heat. This excess heat, if combined with a fluid leak from the transmission, could ignite a fire in the engine compartment.
Ford said they are unaware of any accidents or injuries related to this recall, and it seems more preventative than reactionary on the automaker’s part.
Affected vehicle owners should receive a notice in the mail from Ford. The affected Focuses will install software that will detect and prevent prolonged clutch slip as well as evaluate the clutch for wear and make replacements as needed. Fusion owners will have a new clutch assembly installed at no cost. Owners should refer to recall number 18S07 when scheduling their vehicles for service.
These recalls come just weeks after Hyundai issued a similar recall at the end of February for 43,941 of their Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport SUVs.