Back in 2015, The Blue Oval issued a recall for select 2011-2012 Ford Fusion models equipped with the 3.5L engine, along with the Lincoln MKZ hybrid, 2011 Mercury Milan, 2011-2012 Ford Taurus, Ford Flex, Lincoln MKS, and Lincoln MKT vehicles equipped with the 3.5L GTDI engine, plus 2013 Ford Taurus, Ford Flex, Lincoln MKS, and Lincoln MKT models with any powerplant. The problem it discovered with all of these vehicles pertained to their electric power steering systems, which may shut down as a result of a steering motor sensor fault. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) subsequently opened an investigation into this matter in late 2017 – pertaining specifically to 2010 Ford Fusion models – but now, that query has been closed.
This investigation – which pertains to an estimated 262,599 2010 Ford Fusion and Fusion Hybrid models – was originally opened as a Preliminary Evaluation after the NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) received 718 claims related to the alleged problem, with 598 reports indicating the power steering assist failed while users were driving at various speeds with no warning. Ford later provided an additional 1,851 unique reports and 1,720 warranty claims before issuing the aforementioned recall.
Shortly thereafter, the NHTSA upgraded its investigation to Engineering Analysis status to further assess the scope, frequency, and consequence of this failure, based on an analysis of subject vehicle complaint data. The NHTSA noted that this data indicated there was an increased likelihood of failure as affected vehicles aged. However, at the time, the rate of occurrence was comparable to previous investigations involving the loss of power steering assist.
During this process, the ODI determined that in its own testing, there were some minor steering effort changes, but no root cause could be identified. The agency was also not able to identity a safety-related defect in its test vehicle, which is why it ultimately decided to close its investigation.
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