Ford Motor Co. is recalling 422,814 vehicles in North America to address a potential intermittent electrical connection in the steering gear that can lead to the loss of electric power steering assist while driving.
When the problem occurs, Ford said, the steering system defaults to manual steering mode and makes the vehicle more difficult to steer – especially at lower speeds. This increases the risk of a crash.
The recall includes certain 2011-2013-MY Ford Taurus and Flex vehicles, Lincoln MKS and MKT vehicles, 2011-2012 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles, and 2011 Mercury Milan vehicles.
Ford noted it is aware of four minor accidents that might be related to this condition. However, there are no known injuries linked to the problem.
The recalled 2011-2013 Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT vehicles were built at the Oakville Assembly Plant from Sept. 7, 2010, to Feb. 28, 2012. The 2011-2012 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles were built at the Hermosillo Assembly Plant from Sept. 7, 2010, to Feb. 28, 2012.
Additionally, the 2011 Mercury Milan vehicles were manufactured at the Hermosillo Assembly Plant from Sept. 7, 2010 to Dec. 10, 2010. The 2011-2013 Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS vehicles were manufactured at the Chicago Assembly Plant from Sept. 7, 2010, to Feb. 28, 2012.
A total of 393,622 of the vehicles are in the U.S. and federalized territories, while 25,195 are in Canada and 3,997 are in Mexico, Ford said.
Dealers will perform one of two service fixes, depending on the vehicle’s diagnostic trouble code. They will either update software for the power steering control module or replace the steering gear.