The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s top dog is headed to Detroit Thursday and Friday and he’s not exactly a happy camper. NHTSA chief Mark Rosekind will be in Motor City to meet with General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler Automobile execs about recalls. The agency is concerned that automakers as a whole aren’t acting quickly enough to address safety issues.
Rosekind is certain to address FCA’s response to fires involving rear-mounted fuel tanks on some Jeep models as well as the Takata air bag recall that’s impacted millions of vehicles and every major automaker.
This week’s meetings come as Ford announced four different recalls Wednesday, involving almost 600,000 vehicles. More than 500,000 of the recalls are to fixing steering issues. The rest involve smaller actions like parking lights, fuel pumps and heat shields. According to the Detroit News, one accident and no injuries are attributed to the problems cited in the recalls. They include:
- 518,313 2013-15 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ mid-size sedans and 2015 Ford Edge crossovers, including 487,301 in the U.S. for bolts on steering gear motor attachments that can corrode, crack and break, leaving the driver in manual steering mode which is tougher to steer, especially at slow speeds. No accidents or injuries have been reported. The recall impacts vehicles in parts of North America where corrosion is possible. Dealers will replace the bolts and replace damaged gears.
- 22,616 2015 Lincoln MKZ mid-size sedans, including 21,435 in the U.S., because when the headlamps are on, the park lamps are brighter than regulations allow. Dealers will update the software on the affected vehicles which were built in Mexico. No accidents or injuries have been reported.
- 91 2015 Ford F-150 pickups, including 73 in the U.S., where some underbody heat shields may be missing or improperly installed which poses the risk of fire. No accidents, injuries or fires have been reported. Dealers will inspect the trucks assembled at the Dearborn Truck Plant and install missing components as needed.
- 50,157 2014 Ford Focus, Edge, Escape and Transit Connect and 2014-15 Ford Fiestas, including 45,505 in the U.S., because a problem with the nickel plating on the fuel pump could cause it to seize and then the vehicle could stall or not start. Ford has been alerted to an accident that may be related to the problem. Dealers will replace the fuel delivery module.