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Ford Motor Co. ( F - Analyst Report ) announced that it would recall 140,310 units of its top selling car Focus due to a problem with their passenger-side windshield wiper motors. The vehicles were manufactured between August 1, 2010 and October 18, 2011.
The filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that a seal in the wiper motor wiring could be missing, increasing the chance of water to get inside. The water inside the motor could cause the wiper to stop working, which could reduce visibility and increase the risk of a crash.
However, the automaker has not yet received any reports of injury or crash related to the problem. The company expects to notify the owners of the vehicles in the week beginning May 21. Its dealers will clean and seal the wiring free of charge and fix any non-functional wipers.
Focus is the best selling car of Ford followed by Fusion. In the first quarter of 2012, the company sold 66,043 units of Focus and 63,949 units of Fusion, up 78.2% and down 1.7%, respectively, from the same period last year.
Automotive safety recalls were brought into focus by media after Toyota Motors’ ( TM - Analyst Report ) announcement of the largest-ever global recall of 3.8 million vehicles in September 2009, triggered by a high-speed crash that killed 4 members of a family.
Later on, a string of recalls has led Toyota to face numerous personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in federal courts. The Transportation Department of U.S. also imposed a fine of $48.4 million on the company due to late recall of millions of defective vehicles.
Ford, a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) company, posted a 34% fall in profit to $797 million or 20 cents per share (before special items) in the fourth quarter of 2011 from $1.20 billion or 30 cents per share (before special items) in the same quarter of 2010. With this, the automaker has missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 7 cents per share. Total revenue during the quarter grew 6.5% to $34.6 billion. It was higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $31.8 billion.
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