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 2011-2013) and 915,216 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs (MY 2008-2011) for power steering issues; nearly 200,000 Taurus sedans in the region (MY 2010-2014) for the corrosion issue; and 82,576 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan and Lincoln Zephyr and MKZ sedans (MY 2006-2011) for floor mats that may interfere with the operation of accelerator pedals.
Ford disclosed that the 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."