October 1, 2015, 5:00 AM
Ford is recalling some 390,000 vehicles in five separate recalls that involve sedans, minivans, utility vehicles and pickups, as well as commercial vehicles.
Top of the list is a recall of 342,271 Windstar minivans (58,858 in Canada) that had been produced exclusively at the Oakville assembly plant, just west of Toronto. The front-wheel drive minivans from model years 1998 through 2003 are being returned to dealerships in order to inspect the rear axle for corrosion and cracks that could lead to a complete brake of the axle, which would impair vehicle handling and the driver’s ability to maintain control in order to avoid a crash. The problem had been previously addressed by installing a reinforcement bracket, but that may have been installed incorrectly.
After inspection, customers who had the reinforcement bracket installed incorrectly will have their rear axles replaced. Those who had the brackets installed correctly, will have the option to have the rear axle replaced at a reduced cost. Ford is aware of incidents that could be attributed to the issue, but there have been no reports of injuries.
The 2015 Ford F-150 pickup is also being recalled to address a cruise control issue. The recall affects 36,857 (3,376 in Canada) pickups in which the adaptive cruise control may apply the brakes during a passing manoeuvre, which could create a dangerous situation due to the drastic reduction in speed in relation to surrounding traffic and the illumination of the F-150s brake lights. The problem is identified as a software issue in that the sensors perceive a large highly-reflective truck as being in the lane into which the F-150 is moving. Again, Ford is aware of an incident but no injuries related to the glitch.
Ford is also recalling 708 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ mid-sized sedans (28 in Canada) from the 2016 model year due to a compliance issue with the fuel tank. The vehicles in question could have fuel tanks that were not manufactured properly and could make them vulnerable to cracking in a crash situation. In the presence of an ignition source, the fuel spilling from the cracked tank could lead to a fire. Although there are no reports of incidents related to the issue, Ford will replace all affected tanks.
The fuel tank is also at issue with 2015 Ford Taurus and 2016 Lincoln MKS sedans, and 2016 Ford Explorer SUVs. Two hundred and fifty-one of those vehicles (48 in Canada) are being recalled to tighten a fuel tank attachment bolt that may not be torqued to specifications, which could make the tank straps eventually fail and the tank to separate from the vehicle, also causing a fuel leak that could ignite into a fire, though again there are no reports of incidents related to the issue.
Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner crossovers from the 2001-08 model years are being recalled to address manual transmission problems that could result in the shift lever disengaging from the transmission, which would leave the driver without the ability to change gears and also could result in the vehicle rolling away. Although Ford is unaware of any incidents, it’s bringing the 69 affected vehicles (11 in Canada) back to dealerships to check the tightness of the shift control lever bolt is up to spec.
The last recall affects 1,477 Ford F-53 and F-59 stripped chassis vehicles from the 2016 model year (all in the U.S.). The problem is the shift lever control bracket, which may have a manufacturing flaw that would allow the transmission to shift into reverse without applying the brakes. This would result in unexpected vehicle movement, which could lead to a crash (though Ford is not aware of any incidents).
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