At least three major automakers set all-time records last year for the most vehicles recalled in a single year in the United States. More than 63.5 million vehicles were recalled in 800 separate campaigns, making for more than twice the previous record set back in 2004. So far this year, the headlines have been dominated by multiple recalls of defective Takata airbags, which can explode suddenly and send metal fragments flying into the passenger compartment. Several deaths and more than 100 injuries have been linked to these airbags. To date, the recall has been expanded to a staggering 33.8 million vehicles.
Although largely overshadowed by the Takata airbag recall, Ford continues to steadily issue recalls of its own. Ford, the No. 2 U.S. automaker, issued 42 recalls covering 4.9 million vehicles last year. In January of this year, Ford recalled just under 194,500 vehicles sold in the U.S. (plus another 10,000 sold in Canada and Mexico) due to an issue with the spring controls in the interior door handles that could cause the door to open in a side-impact crash. The recall affected the 2010-2013 Ford Taurus and Police Interceptor, as well as their platform-mate, the 2011 Lincoln MKS. In March, 213,000 units of different models were added to the recall for the same issue. March also saw safety recalls for faulty exhaust gas sensors and faulty vacuum pump relays installed in some specialty vehicles, including certain limos, hearses and ambulances.
In April, the faulty door latch issue reared its ugly head again and caused 390,000 more units to be recalled. Fusions and MKZs from model years 2013 and 2014, as well as Fiestas from model years 2012 to 2014, could have “broken pawl spring tabs” that can keep doors from latching shut or cause shut doors to open without warning. April also saw Ford recall over 591,000 vehicles worldwide in four separate campaigns. More than 487,000 Fusion and MKZ sedans from model years 2013-2015 and 2015 Edge crossovers in the U.S. have steering gear motor attachment bolts that could fracture due to corrosion cracking. Another 45,505 vehicles from five recent models have nickel plating issues that could cause the fuel pump to seize and the engine to stall. Ford also recalled 21,435 U.S. units of the MKZ because when the headlights are on, the parking lamps are brighter than they are allowed to be, which could affect the vision of other drivers. Finally, 73 F-150 pickup trucks from 2015 were recalled for potential underbody heat shield issues that increase the risk of a fire.
The larger campaign covers the possibility of electric power steering systems that can fail in the 2011-2013 Ford Flex, Taurus, Lincoln MKS, and MKT; the 2011-2012 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ; and the 2011 Mercury Milan. The other involves 2015 Mustangs that need to have the heat shield around their gas tank replaced. And the year isn’t even half over.
Wonder about your car? You can use this online tool to directly access the recalls database of major vehicle manufacturers. If you have the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), you can also see whether a specific vehicle has been included in a safety recall in the last 15 years but was not repaired.
At the Johnson Law Firm, we have successfully represented victims throughout Kentucky who have been seriously hurt by defective products. We have also assisted families who have lost loved ones to defective cars and trucks. For over 15 years, we have been helping injured consumers put their lives back on track, and we are ready to help you. For advice on how to proceed next or if you have any questions about this topic, call 606-433-0682 or submit our online form.