Safety Issues Prompt Multiple Recalls Affecting Upward of 1 million Ford Vehicles May 1, 2015 The 2014 Ford Focus is one of multiple Ford models affected by multiple recalls over various safety issues. It’s been a tough few weeks for Ford Motor Co. Safety issues have forced multiple recalls covering a grand total of more than 943,000 vehicles. The first affects some 390,000 Ford Fiesta and Fusion and Lincoln MKZ models sold throughout North America. These vehicles may have a door latch malfunction that can cause the door to become unlatched or even swing open while a vehicle is in motion. Thus far, Ford has received reports of two incidents involving latch malfunctions, one that involved a door bouncing back and striking the driver, and another in which a door swung open and struck another vehicle. While no major injuries have been reported in connection with the malfunction, it’s critical that car owners are aware of the risk of serious harm. Just days after the announcement of the door latch issue, Ford recalled another 487,301 Fusions and Lincoln MKZs from model years 2013-2015 and 2015 Edge vehicles. Bolts on the steering gear motors installed in these vehicles can rust out, crack and disable the power assist. Vehicles most at risk are those driven primarily in the northern “salt bet” states, where large quantities of salt are applied to roads during the winter season to control show and ice and lower the risk of automobile accidents. However, here in Northeast Florida, vehicles frequently driven or parked long-term on near the beaches also are at risk because of the salty sea water and air. Another recall affects 2014 Focus, Edge, Escape, Transit Connect models and 2014-2015 Fiesta models. Fuel pumps with nickel plating can loosen and plug the impeller (the rotor that spins and drives the fuel into the line), potentially blocking the flow of gasoline. These cars may not start or, far worse, may stall while driving, increasing the risk of a collision. The issue is known to have caused at least one crash and may also affect several Nissan, BMW and Volkswagen/Audi models, as well. Though smaller in reach, the fourth recall is a critical one, too. It covers 73 2015 F-150 trucks manufactured over a two-day span at Ford’s Dearborn, Michigan plant. Workers neglected to install heat shields or fasteners, which poses a fire risk when trucks are idling over grass or other easily ignitable surfaces. Finally, owners of 2015 MKZ sedans are urged to request a software update that will lower the brightness of headlamps. The lamps are too bright under federal regulations in 21,435 cars. If you believe your vehicle may be affected by the recall and no injuries have occurred as a result of the defects, take your vehicle to your nearest Ford dealer for free-of-charge fixes. However, if you or your family have suffered an injury that you believe may have been caused by one of these issues, get medical treatment and contact an experienced product liability attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell at 800-251-1111.