Ford is recalling 1.4 million vehicles, after announcing that a manufacturing defect could cause the steering wheel to detach from the steering column. It could cause a potentially deadly situation in which drivers could lose control of their vehicle.
The recall, listed below, can be rectified by contacting your Ford dealer to work out repair details.
The recall came after regulators from the federal government pressured Ford to act on several instances of detaching steering wheels. Bolts used to hold wheels in place can looses over time.
Only vehicles in North America are affected, and the Ford recall covers certain Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ cars from the 2014 through 2018 model years.
Ford says it is aware of two crashes and one injury caused by the problem. Ford dealers will replace the bolts with longer ones that have more aggressive threads and a nylon patch to stop them from coming loose. Recall notices will be sent out by mail by the end of April, and the necessary parts should be available by then.
Just over 1.3 million cars in the U.S. are being recalled, with the rest in Canada and Mexico. Last year, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating incidents of steering wheels falling off of Fusions from the 2014 through 2016 model years.
The safety agency said in documents that it began the probe after receiving three complaints, including one from a driver from Georgia who reported that the steering wheel in a 2015 Fusion fell into their lap when turning into a gas station.
Two other people reported that the bolt attaching the wheel to the steering column came loose while driving and had to be retightened at a repair shop. At the time the agency had no reports of crashes or injuries.
Ford isn’t the only manufacturer to issue a recall for steering wheels coming off. In February, Hyundai recalled 43,900 vehicles which were at risk of the steering wheel breaking away from the steering column. That recall affected the 2018 Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport SUVs.
Select 2014-18 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles for loose steering wheel bolts that could lead to a steering wheel detaching from steering column
Ford is issuing a safety recall in North America for approximately 1.3 million 2014-18 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles for potentially loose steering wheel bolts that could result in a steering wheel detaching from the steering column.
In affected vehicles, the steering wheel bolt may not maintain torque, allowing the bolt to loosen over time, and if not serviced, a steering wheel could potentially detach and lead to a loss of steering control and increased risk of a crash.
Ford is aware of two accidents with one injury allegedly related to this condition.
Affected vehicles include:
- 2014-17 Ford Fusion vehicles built at Flat Rock Assembly Plant, Aug. 6, 2013 to Feb. 29, 2016
- 2014-18 Ford Fusion vehicles built at Hermosillo Assembly Plant, July 25, 2013 to March 5, 2018
- 2014-18 Lincoln MKZ vehicles built at Hermosillo Assembly Plant, July 25, 2013 to March 5, 2018
The recall involves approximately 1,378,637 vehicles in North America with 1,301,986 in the United States and federalized territories, 62,479 in Canada and 14,172 in Mexico. The Ford reference number for this recall is 18S08.
Dealers will replace the steering wheel bolt on the vehicle with a longer bolt with more robust thread engagement and larger nylon patch placed properly for proper torque retention— at no cost to customers.