NHTSA Probing Ford Fusion Steering Wheel Detachments
Perhaps more than any other vehicle component, a steering wheel must function properly for the safe operation of a car or truck. Without it, you’re just along for the ride.
That’s why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is taking three reports of steering wheels detaching from the column in late-model Ford Fusions so seriously. In one case, the wheel came off in the driver’s hands. The agency has now opened a preliminary investigation into three model years of the Fusion.
According to the NHTSA, an investigation began on October 23rd. An investigation doesn’t necessarily signal an impending recall or a widespread problem, but it does show the complaints were serious enough to warrant further action.
In this case, the three complaints are indeed alarming. The NHTSA claims that, in those cases, the steering wheel fastening bolts came loose on 2014 to 2016 model-year Fusions. The scope of the investigation covers approximately 841,000 vehicles.
“The [Vehicle Owner Questionnaires] stated that the steering wheel became loose while the vehicle was in operation,” the NHTSA’s notice states. “Two of the complainants reported that the bolt attaching the wheel to the steering column had to be re-tightened at a repair facility. The third complainant alleged that while attempting to turn into a gas station, the steering wheel became completely detached from the steering column.”
Topping even yesterday’s NHTSA epic understatement (regarding 340,000 Kia Souls with steering assembly issues), the agency claims a “detached steering wheel can result in a loss of vehicle control,” which can then result in a crash. You got that right.
[Image: Ford Motor Company]
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