It seems that Ford Motor Company might be jealous at all of the attention General Motors has been receiving from the NHTSA and Congress. The Blue Oval recently recalled 1.3 million cars for various issues, including a power steering problem it has known about since 2009.
The problem affects the 2011 to 2013 Ford Explorer, 2008 to 2011 Escape and 2008 to 2011 Mercury Mariner. The power steering can fail thanks to bad cable connections in Explorers and bad torque sensors in the Mariner and Escape. With the power steering out, drivers will not be able to pilot the vehicle as easily, which could lead to a crash. Ford stated to the NHTSA that it had no intention of recalling the affected vehicles because of the power steering failure issue since it considered it to not be a safety issue. Investigators so far have linked 20 crashes and 8 injuries to the power steering malfunction, clearly demonstrating that it is an issue of safety. The fix is rather simple and involves installing an update to the power steering software, which is an interesting parallel to the inexpensive and easy nature of the ignition control switch fix GM faced before it swept the whole matter under the rug.
In addition, the 2010 to 2014 Ford Taurus has been recalled for potential car fires triggered by the license plate lamps corroding. The risk of fire was first uncovered by Ford back in 2011, but the company could not figure out the source until recently. Ford, of course, is no stranger to car fires. The only way for a car to have the new license plate lamps installed free of charge is for it to be registered in one of the “salt belt” states.
As if that were not enough issues, Ford is also recalling the 2006 to 2011 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Zephyr and MKZ for unintended acceleration. The problem is similar to Toyota’s floor mat recall that made huge headlines. The recalled vehicles will have a new floor mat installed, preventing the unintended acceleration.