Ford Motor Company is issuing a vehicle defect recall for nearly 593,000 cars and trucks in North America including 520,000 because the power assist to the steering could be lost making the vehicle tougher to turn.
According to a news report in The New York Times, about 554,000 of the vehicles involved in the recall are in the United States.
The steering issue affects the 2013-15 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans and the 2015 Ford Edge SUV.
Ford officials say the bolts used in the steering system could rust and fracture causing the loss of power steering.
The automaker said the steering would still function, but that the vehicle would be a lot harder to steer. This could potentially increase the risk of a crash.
However, the automaker says it is not aware of any crashes related to this problem.
Ford is recalling vehicles only sold in cold weather states because road salt hastens the corrosion that could cause the steering issue.
This is known as a “regional recall.”
The Problem With Regional Recalls
Regional recalls have always been problematic for safety advocates – and for good reason.
Consumer groups have been fighting these types of actions because while they do save automakers money, they expose consumers to the risk of unsafe vehicles.
In an era of Internet sales and a mobile society, these defective vehicles could easily move across state borders.
There was a similar issue with the Takata airbags.
Initially, automakers only issued recalls in “high-humidity” regions because they said there was a higher probability of the airbags exploding only in areas with higher humidity.
But federal safety regulators pushed for a nationwide recall, which is the right thing to do.
It’s in the best interest of consumers as opposed to automakers.
What Consumers Can Do
It’s easy to find out if your vehicle has been recalled. Just enter your vehicle identification number or VIN on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website, safercar.gov.
If your vehicle has been recalled, take it to an authorized dealer right away to get the necessary repairs.
If you are in the market for a used vehicle, make sure you do your homework before purchasing the car.
If the vehicle is recalled, the best action to take is to not buy it. If you must, make sure that the car is repaired for the safety defect before you purchase it.
If you have been injured as a result of an auto defect or a faulty vehicle part, please contact an experienced auto products liability attorney to obtain more information regarding your legal rights and options.