Ford Motor Co. has issued recalls of almost 1.39 million SUVs and sedans in North America, due to power steering issues, corrosion problems and floor mats. The recalls cover 195,527 Ford Explorer SUVs in North America (model years 2011 to 2013) and 915,216 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs (MY 2008 to 2011) for power steering issues; nearly 200,000 Taurus sedans in the region (MY 2010 to 2014) for the corrosion issue; and 82,576 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan and Lincoln Zephyr and MKZ sedans (MY 2006 to 2011) for floor mats that may interfere with the operation of accelerator pedals.
Ford disclosed that the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received consumer reports of six injuries and five crashes tied to the Escape and Mariner models. The carmaker said that as of mid-April, it has knowledge of 15 accidents including two minor injuries tied to the loss of power steering in Explorer SUVs.
The accidents involved vehicles running at lower speeds, Ford said. Around 1.186 million of the recalled are in the United States – just 2,200 less than the total number of called back units in the US in entire 2013.
For the Mercury Mariner and Ford Escape recalls, Ford will send letters to all affected owners in the US by July 25, according to NHTSA. Carmakers have so far called back nearly 23 million cars in the US this year, already topping the total in 2013. It may also break the record set in 2004 at 31 million recalled vehicles.
So far, General Motors Co. accounts for around 14 million of the nearly recalled units, including 2.6 million cars due to a faulty ignition switches tied to 13 deaths.
According to Karl Brauer of Kelley Blue Book, Ford's recalls may be driven by the “heightened sense of concern” that carmakers have been feeling now. He added there have been so many recalls issued after GM called back cars with faulty ignition switches that the moves have become "sort of background white noise for consumers."
Last month, the NHTSA has awarded five-star Overall Vehicle Score to the 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon. A five-star rating was also awarded by the European New Car Assessment Program consumer advocacy group to the Tourneo Connect, which is the European version of Transit Connect Wagon.
Ford commenced sales of the Transit Connect Wagon earlier this year. More than half of the body structure of the Transit Connect is built with high-strength and ultrahigh-strength steels. In addition, the Transit Connect Wagon also boasts of side airbags for front-row occupants, as well as side curtain airbags for all seating rows.