file photo.

Ford Recalls Over A Million Vehicles

Ford Motor Company is issuing two safety recalls in North America because of loose steering wheel bolts and loose clutches.

The automaker says the steering wheel bolt issue could lead to a steering wheel detaching from the steering column. Approximately 1.3-million 2014-18 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles are affected. There are 62,479 affected vehicles in Canada.

“The steering wheel bolt may not maintain torque, allowing the bolt to loosen over time, and if not serviced, a steering wheel could potentially detach and lead to a loss of steering control and increased risk of a crash,” the company says.

Ford says it’s aware of two accidents with one injury allegedly related to this condition.

“Dealers will replace the steering wheel bolt on the vehicle with a longer bolt with more robust thread engagement and larger nylon patch placed properly for proper torque retention at no cost to customers,” says Ford.

A safety recall has also been issued for approximately 6,000 2013-16 Ford Focus cars and 2013-15 Ford Fusions for a potential clutch plate fracture with the risk of fire. There are 515 of them in Canada.

“Repeated high-energy clutch slip input made while a driver changes gears can lead to premature clutch lining wear, reducing the mechanical properties of pressure plate material,” says the auto company. “Repeated cyclic heating and cooling events may cause cracks around the outer edge of the pressure plate.

“Torque capacity reduction due to clutch lining wear can cause excessive slip, introducing a large amount of energy and heat into the pressure plate. Structural failure or fracture of the pressure plate eventually may occur. Leaking transmission fluid near an ignition source can lead to the risk of an engine compartment fire.”

Ford is not aware of any fires, accidents or injuries associated with this issue.

“Dealers will update Focus vehicles with software that will detect and prevent prolonged clutch slip and will evaluate the clutch for wear and replace as needed,” says Ford. “Fusions will be updated with a new clutch assembly at no cost to customers.