Ford is making two recalls this week on nearly 435,000 cars and SUVs to remedy faulty seats and rusting frame parts.
The recalls come amid a wave of similar actions across several international vehicle manufacturers from American competitor GM — which has recalled 2.6 million cars for ignition switch problems and may face criminal charges — to Toyota and Honda, which have recalled 119,000 Avalons and 10,000 Civics, respectively.
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The larger of Ford's two recalls concerns roughly 386,000 Ford Escapes in 20 states from the 2001 to 2004 model years, with steering that can suffer from a rusting subframe. One crash has been linked to the problem, but no injuries have been reported. The potential problem can be fixed with a reinforcement brace that dealerships are equipped to install.
The rust affects cars operating primarily in cold-weather states, and the National Highway Transportation Security Administration has made it OK for Ford and other manufacturers to do a regional recall such as this one.
Some experts, however, say that regional recalls run the risk of missing some vehicles that may need to be recalled.
The second of the recalls encompasses 49,000 Ford Fusions, Lincoln MKZs, Ford Escapes, and C-MAX vehicles from 2013 and 2014. No problems have been reported, but Ford wants to replace seat back frames with insufficient welding that don't conform to the NHTSA standard.
USA Today reports that Ford's last recalls
were roughly a year ago. In 2013, the company recalled 230,000 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans over another corrosion problem related to mounting brackets near the wheel wells. It also recalled 370,000 2005 to 2011 Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Lincoln Town Car sedans for potential loss of steering due to steering shaft corrosion.
Road salt used by regional municipalities to curb snow-related accidents are often the culprit of corrosion recalls.
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