Ford Motor Co. (F - Analyst Report) has announced 4 separate recalls for a total of 1.4 million SUVs and sedans in North America, according to media reports. Of these, 1.186 million vehicles are in the U.S.
Of the total vehicles, Ford is recalling 915,216 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs of model years 2008 to 2011, manufactured between Aug 18, 2006 and Sep 11, 2010, in North America. These vehicles are being recalled to fix a problem in the torque sensor in the steering column, which can lead to the loss of power steering and thus increase the probability of a crash.
U.S. regulators have reports of six injuries and five crashes related to this issue. The carmaker offers three different options to solve the issue. The dealers may replace the torque sensor; update the software; or replace the steering column depending on the condition of the vehicle.
Next, Ford is recalling 195,527 Explorer SUVs of model years 2011 to 2013 in North America. The automaker is recalling the vehicles due to an electrical problem in the steering gear, which can knock out the power steering. To solve this issue, the dealers can either update the software or replace the steering gear. There are reports of 15 accidents including two minor injuries due to this problem.
In addition, Ford is also recalling 200,000 Taurus sedans of model years 2010 to 2014 in North America. The automaker is recalling the vehicles due to possibility of rust formation around the license plate light, which can lead to short circuit and fire. The recalled cars were sold in 20 states and Washington, D.C., which use salt to clear roads of snow and ice. There are 18 consumer reports of fires pertaining to this issue.
Finally, Ford is recalling 82,576 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Lincoln Zephyr and Lincoln MKZ vehicles of model years 2006 to 2011. The automaker is recalling the vehicles due to improper installation of floor mats, which may hinder the operation of the accelerator pedal. Ford announced that dealers will be replacing the mats to solve the problem.
Safety of passengers has become an issue of paramount importance in the automobile industry, as the Congress, the Justice Department and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are closely monitoring vehicle safety due to recent events. Besides Ford, various other automakers are also facing safety-related recalls, which dent their brand image.
Ford’s rival, General Motors Co. (GM - Analyst Report), is in a difficult situation with a slew of recalls. The automaker has agreed to pay a fine of $35 million to the U.S. safety regulators due to the late recall of 2.6 million older-model small cars due to faulty ignition switches. Toyota Motor Corp. (TM - Analyst Report) has also been fined $1.2 billion for withholding information from government safety regulators.
Ford currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Fox Factory Holding Corp (FOXF - Snapshot Report), carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) is a better-ranked automobile stock.