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Ford Recalls 434k Vehicles For Several Unrelated Issues : News

Ford Motor Co. is calling back about 385,750 model-year 2001-2004 Escape compact SUVs because rust could cause a separation of the lower control arm from the vehicle’s subframe and affect the ability to steer. About 349,000 of those Escapes were sold in the U.S.

In a second, unrelated recall announced Monday, Ford is calling back about 48,950 model-year2013-2014 Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ, Ford Escape and C-MAX vehicles to replace seatback frames that do not comply with a NHTSA standard. There are 42,972 vehicles that fall under the recall in the U.S and 4,744 in Canada.

The Escapes affected by the subframe problem were sold or are registered in Michigan and other states in the Midwest and Northeast, and in eastern Canada. All are in the “salt belt” where salt is used to melt ice on roads. Dealers will install a reinforcement crossbrace.

Ford says it is aware of one Escape crash that may be related to subframe rusting, but no injuries.

The automaker has recalled more than 2 million vehicles since 2010 for various rust problems in older vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last November closed an investigation that looked into the same issue in more than 800,000 2005-2011 Crown Victorias, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Cars. In those cars, a rust-related defect related to the lower intermediate steering shaft that could cause loss of steering.

Last August, Ford said it was recalling 355,000 2005-2011 of those same cars for rust-related defects that were sold in “salt-belt” states.

Also last year, Ford said it would recall 230,000 2004-2007 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans to repair third-row seat latches that can rust in the wheel wells and cause the seats to come loose.

In 2012, Ford recalled 1.2 million 1997-2003 Ford F-150 trucks and other vehicles in 21 states and Canada because their fuel tanks could fall to the pavement. Ford said years of rust could break the straps that support the gas tank, allowing it to drag to the pavement and possibly leak, which could lead to fire.

In the seatback recall announced Monday, Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker wrote in an email, “Certain front driver and passenger seatback assemblies may have been produced with sub-standard welds joining the seatback recliner mechanism to the seatback frame” and could“potentially [increase] the risk of injury in certain collisions.”

Dealers will replace the seatback frames on affected vehicles.

The automaker says there have been no reported accidents or injuries because of the potentially faulty frames.

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