Ford Motor Co. is recalling 253 2017 Ford Explorer, Taurus and Police Interceptor Utility and Sedan vehicles in the U.S. because faulty steering gear heat shield fasteners might lead to a sudden loss of power steering assist, the automaker said.
In these vehicles, some of the steering gear heat shield fasteners may have a surface finish with insufficient corrosion protection.
“Without the proper finish, the heat shield may corrode and detach from the steering gear — exposing the steering gear system to higher than expected temperatures,” Ford explained in a released statement about the recall. “If the steering gear electrical connectors melt, the driver may experience sudden loss of assist without warning while driving, accompanied by the fault message ‘Service Power Steering Now’ in the instrument cluster.”
A sudden loss of power steering assist increases the risk of a crash, especially at lower speeds. But Ford noted the company isn’t aware of any accidents or injuries associated with the issue.
To resolve the problem, dealers will conduct inspections and replace any faulty steering gear heat shield fasteners they find.
Ford will also recall nine vehicles in Canada, along with one vehicle in Mexico, for the same problem. The Ford reference number for this recall is 17S23.