TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writer
DETROIT (AP) — Ford is recalling more than 202,000 cars, vans and trucks in North America in five separate recalls to fix gas leaks, air bag sensors, stalling and other issues.
The company says the problems have caused one accident, but it’s not aware of injuries in any of the cases.
The biggest of the recalls announced Tuesday affects about 135,000 F-150 pickups and Ford Flex family haulers from the 2014 model year. Faulty passenger seat weight sensors can stop air bags from inflating in crashes. Dealers will widen a gap between the seat frame and track, and then recalibrate the sensors. Also covered are some 2009 through 2014 F-150s that were serviced for seat track problems this year.
The recalls are examples of how automakers are moving faster to report and correct safety problems in the wake of large penalties paid to the U.S. government by General Motors and Toyota. GM was fined $35 million for its slow response to the ignition switch recall and Toyota paid a $1.2 billion penalty to settle a criminal charge that it hid safety information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
So far this year, automakers have issued over 550 recalls affecting more than 52 million vehicles. That shattered the old full-year record of 30.8 million recalled vehicles set in 2004. GM alone has issued 75 recalls totaling more than 30 million vehicles this year.
Here are details of the other Ford recalls:
— About 38,600 Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Cars from 2005 to 2011. They’re being recalled for a second time to fix problems with steering shafts that can separate. Improper repairs can cause loss of steering. Dealers will inspect and replace the upper intermediate steering shaft if needed. They also will inspect lower steering column bearings and install bearing retainers if needed. Ford says it knows of one crash from this problem.
— About 27,600 Transit Connect small vans from 2014 for potential fuel line leaks. Fuel and vapor lines may have been routed incorrectly in vans with 2.5-liter engines. The lines can rub and possibly cause leaks over time. Ford says it’s not aware of any fires. Dealers will inspect and reroute the lines if needed.
— About 90 Transit large vans from 2015 with 3.2-liter diesel engines. A bracket that holds the fuel filter to the frame can detach, causing engine stalling. Dealers will reinforce the underbody structure.
— About 960 F-150 pickups from 2014. A brake pedal position switch may not be set right. This could delay illumination of brake lights and require increased effort to on the pedal to shut off the cruise control. Dealers will reinstall the switch.
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