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Ford slows in the race with faulty steering wheel and clutch plate

Ford Motor Company is recalling roughly 1.4 million vehicles in North America as the detachment of steering wheel from column could lose vehicle control. Remember, last month the Australian government recalled the vehicles with flawed Takata airbags, in which Ford was one of the troubled brands.

Ford said that the steering wheel bolt of the affected vehicles, which includes 2014-2018 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ models, may loosen gradually due to non-maintenance of torque and a potential detachment of the wheel. This could result in the loss of steering control and develop the crash risk.

These 1.4 million vehicles also consist of vehicles with potential clutch plate fracture that will guide to fire risk. Close to 6000 recalled vehicles contain 2013-2016 Ford Focus and 2013-2015 Ford Fusion models in North America.

The early failure of clutch lining can occur because of the reduction of torque capacity, arising from the mechanism of repeated high-energy clutch slip input when shifting the gears. This, in turn, leads to pressure plate fracture or structural disaster. The engine compartment fire risk will happen when transmission fluid is leaked near an ignition source.

The Takata airbag recall troubled nearly 20 auto brands around the world, with more than 100 million vehicles being withdrawn. Globally, 20 deaths and 230 grave injuries have been linked to the faulty Takata airbag.

Ford recall Takata airbags
Image Courtesy: Ford Motors

Recently, Ford warned that older pickup trucks could have defective Takata airbags. In January, Ford confirmed that a faulty Takata inflator in 2006 Ford Ranger has caused death in July 2017 crash in West Virginia.

Globally by 2019, Takata, who had filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2017, is preparing to withdraw and replace about 125 million vehicles affected by the faulty inflator.

At a March 20 hearing, Honda Motor, Ford, and Key Safety Systems executives will certify on the current massive Takata airbag inflator recalls. Takata, under the bankruptcy plan, is selling its non-air bag inflator businesses to Key Safety Systems, a subsidiary of China-based Ningbo Joyson Electronic.

In early March, Ford intended to recall 100,000 vehicles including the Mondeo and Ranger due to faulty Takata airbag inflator, while 100,000 vehicles are planned to be recalled by Volkswagen along with 17,000 Skoda cars in specific. On contrary, about 50,000 vehicles will be recalled each by Mercedes and Audi, and 17,500 vehicles to be withdrawn by Jaguar and Land Rover for replacement of the airbags.

The Takata airbag recall troubled nearly 20 auto brands around the world, with more than 100 million vehicles being withdrawn

In February, Ford had sold 194,132 vehicles in the U.S. This is a 6.9% drop compared to the last year. Retail sales fell 8.5% to 123,073 vehicles and overall transaction prices fared well against the industry.

A recent report stated that Ford had sold 97,400 vehicles in Euro 20 markets in February. This is up 8% from last year. The automaker sold 110,000 vehicles across all of its 50 European markets, up 8.4% from a year ago. Ford China sales slumped 30% to 47,483 vehicles in February from a year earlier, due to fewer working days.

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