Once Again Feds Investigate Ford Models for Dangerous Power Steering Loss

Forbes.com

November 28, 2017

By Christopher Jensen

Once again feds are investigating Ford models for the sudden loss of power assist to the steering. More than 2,000 owners have complained with many describing the problem as dangerous.

Federal regulators have intensified an investigation into the sudden loss of power steering on the 2010 Ford Fusion, according to a report on the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

In the report, the agency said it began investigating the issue in September 2016 after receiving 547 complaints from owners. They complained that “significantly increased driver effort is required to maintain directional control of the vehicle.”

Since then NHTSA says it found about 2,200 complaints to either the agency or Ford. There were also reports of 13 accidents resulting in seven injuries, the extent of which was not noted.

One of those complaining was a Florida owner who wrote the agency in 2013. “Very dangerous issue!! I have been letting my daughter, who is a new driver, use this car. I am not rethinking it. Might have to sell the car and buy a safer car for her.”

The agency said those findings merit advancing its inquiry from a “preliminary evaluation” to an “engineering analysis.” The engineering analysis is more likely—but not certain—to lead to a recall.

In 2015 Ford recalled about 393,000 models for a sudden failure of the power steering. That followed an investigation by the agency triggered by owner complaints. The automaker blamed “an intermittent electrical connection caused by quality issues.”

That action covered 2011-2012 Ford Fusion vehicles without a 3.5L engine and Lincoln MKZ hybrid electric vehicles, 2011 Mercury Milan vehicles, 2011-2012 Ford Taurus, Ford Flex, Lincoln MKS, and Lincoln MKT vehicles equipped with a 3.5L GTDI engine and 2013 Ford Taurus, Ford Flex, Lincoln MKS, and Lincoln MKT “with any available engine.”

In the 2015 recall Ford admitted to NHTSA that it first knew of a possible problem in 2011 and the same year the supplier “implemented quality implemented corrective action for quality issues.” But Ford didn’t recall the vehicles until after the agency began asking about owner complaints.

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