By JILL CIMINILLO, Automotive Editor
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - If you own a Ford Fusion or Lincoln MKZ and your steering has been feeling a little loose, it might not be your imagination.
Ford Motor Co. issued a notice Wednesday stating that it will be recalling 1,378,637 Fusions and MKZs for loose steering wheel bolts that could lead to the steering wheel falling off.
The statement says: “In affected vehicles, the steering wheel bolt may not maintain torque, allowing the bolt to loosen over time, and if not serviced, a steering wheel could potentially detach and lead to a loss of steering control and increased risk of a crash.”
Specific vehicles involved in the recall include:
- 2014-17 Ford Fusion vehicles built at Flat Rock Assembly Plant, Aug. 6, 2013, to Feb. 29, 2016
- 2014-18 Ford Fusion vehicles built at Hermosillo Assembly Plant, July 25, 2013, to March 5, 2018
- 2014-18 Lincoln MKZ vehicles built at Hermosillo Assembly Plant, July 25, 2013, to March 5, 2018
Ford said it is aware of two accidents with one injury related to this issue.
When the owner receives the official recall notice with the reference number 18S08, the dealer will replace the steering wheel bolt on the vehicle for free.
Ford issued a second recall notice for a separate issue regarding the Fusion, as well as the Focus equipped with the B6 manual transmission.
Ford stated that repeated high-energy clutch slip input made while the driver is shifting gears could lead to clutch plate fracture and increase the risk of an engine compartment fire.
Affected vehicles include:
- 2013-16 Ford Focus vehicles with 1.0-liter Fox GTDI engines and B6 manual transmissions built at Michigan Assembly Plant, July 21, 2014, to June 30, 2016
- 2013-15 Ford Fusion vehicles with 1.6-liter Sigma GTDI engines and B6 manual transmissions built at Hermosillo Assembly Plant, March 9, 2012, to June 28, 2014
This recall involves about 5,872 vehicles in North America and the reference number for this recall is 18S07.
When brought in for repair, dealers will update Focus vehicles with software that will detect and prevent prolonged clutch slip, and will evaluate the clutch for wear and replace as needed. Fusions will be updated with a new clutch assembly. All these repairs will be free.
For more information, please visit Ford’s press release.