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Major Recall: Ford Steering Wheel May Come Loose

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Ford Motor Co. (F) has issued two safety recalls for a total of nearly 1.4 million vehicles in North America. This includes a recall for the risk of steering wheel detaching from the steering column in midsize cars.

The automaker is recalling about 1.3 million 2014-18 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles for potentially loose steering wheel bolts that could result in the steering wheel detaching from the steering column.

The recall comprises 1.30 million vehicles in the U.S. and federalized territories, 62,479 in Canada and 14,172 in Mexico.

In affected vehicles, the steering wheel bolt may not maintain torque and loosen over time. If not serviced, the steering wheel could potentially detach and result in loss of steering control, leading to increased risk of a crash.

Ford is aware of two accidents, with one injury allegedly related to this condition.

Dealers will replace the steering wheel bolt on the vehicles with a longer bolt that will have more robust thread engagement and larger nylon patch. The replacement will be done at no cost to customers.

Ford has also issued a safety recall in North America for 2013-16 Ford Focus cars with 1.0-liter Fox GTDI engine and B6 manual transmission as well as 2013-15 Ford Fusion with 1.6-liter GTDI engine and B6 manual transmission for potential clutch plate fracture with risk of fire.

The recall involves about 5,872 vehicles in North America, comprising 5,357 vehicles in the U.S. and 515 in Canada.

In affected vehicles, repeated high-energy clutch slip input made while changing gears can result in premature clutch lining wear. Torque capacity reduction due to clutch lining wear can cause excessive slip and introduce a large amount of energy as well as heat into the pressure plate.

This could lead to structural failure or fracture of the pressure plate. Leaking transmission fluid near an ignition source can lead to the risk of an engine compartment fire.

However, Ford is not aware of any fires, accidents or injuries associated with this issue.

Dealers will update Focus vehicles with software to detect and prevent prolonged clutch slip and the clutch will be replaced if required. The Fusion vehicles will be updated with a new clutch assembly at no cost to customers.

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