Ford is recalling certain model year 2005-2011 Ford Crown Victoria (including Crown Victoria Police Interceptors), Mercury Grand Marquis, and Lincoln Town Car vehicles. The affected vehicles are currently registered or were originally sold in Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, according to Ford's report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Approximately 355,000 vehicles are potentially affected.
Severe corrosion can seize the lower intermediate shaft, which may cause the upper intermediate shaft to collapse and the steering column lower bearing to separate. In Ford’s statement, the company said that if the lower bearing separates, the vehicle may experience a loss of steering, increasing the risk of a crash.
Field reports indicate that many drivers observe a change of steering feel due to corrosion, causing them to seek service prior to any loss of steering function, according to Ford. The company is not aware of any reported accidents or injuries related to the condition.
Ford will notify owners and dealers and will replace the lower intermediate shaft, free of charge. The upper intermediate shaft and steering column lower bearing will be inspected to identify any damage that may have occurred as a result of lower intermediate shaft corrosion, and repaired or replaced as necessary. If the steering column lower bearing has separated, a retainer clip will be installed. The recall is expected to begin Oct. 21. Owners may contact Ford at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s recall number is 13S08.
Customers located in non-corrosion states who have concerns regarding their steering will have a one-time option to have their vehicles inspected and, if necessary, repaired. Owners of these vehicles should contact Ford directly.
NHTSA opened a preliminary evaluation on 2005-2008 Crown Victoria Police Interceptors in September 2012. At the time, two police agencies publicly announced they were inspecting their Crown Victoria police vehicles about the issue.