According to recent reports, Ford Motor Company is recalling 1.39 million SUVs and sedans for possible loss of power steering due to an ignition-switch issue. Ford has stated that about 1.186 million of these vehicles are in the United States; the remainder are in Canada or Mexico. This is one of the largest single recalls in Ford history, just shy of the total number of vehicles recalled by Ford during the entire year of 2013.
The Ignition-Switch Issue and Others
Older cars have been subject to heighted security inspections since General Motors was forced to recall 15.8 million vehicles worldwide for ignition switch issues. Ford is obviously taking this issue seriously. The automaker will recall 195,527 Explorers from 2011 to 2013 and 915,216 Ford Escapes and Mercury Mariners from 2008 to 2011 for power steering issues. Another 200,000 Taurus sedans from 2010 to 2014 will be recalled for a corrosion issue.
In what may be the most serious recall of all, Ford is recalling about 82,500 Ford Fusions, Mercury Milans, Lincoln Zephyrs and MKZ sedans manufactured between 2006 and 2011 for floor mats that may interfere with the operation of the accelerator pedals.
According to Ford, the loss of power steering could lead to a crash if the vehicle is traveling at a relatively low rate of speed. So far, there have been reports of five crashes and six injuries related to the power steering issue in the sedans, Escapes and Mariners, and 15 accidents with two injuries in Explorer SUV.
The corrosion issue has come about due to the use of salt on the roadways in cold areas of the country. This corrosion can affect the lamps near license plates and could cause a short circuit that might cause a fire.
Owners will be notified by July 25 of the recall.
How Does a Recall Affect Liability?
Liability of an automaker for a defect is not lessened by a recall. Automakers issue recalls in order to get potentially dangerous vehicles off the road and fixed, but the fact that they issue a recall does not relieve them of the responsibility for putting out a defective vehicle in the first place.
A recall is designed to protect consumers and show good faith on the part of the auto manufacturer. However, it has no impact on the basis of a product liability claim, which does not rely on intent. A product liability claim can be based on defects in manufacture, defects in design or defects in advertising.
Contact a personal injury attorney if you have been the victim of an accident caused by a defective vehicle. Even if the vehicle is under recall, you may be able to recover payments for your medical bills, pain and suffering and other costs.