Ford is recalling almost 129,000 of its 2010-11 Ford Fusions and Mercury Milans because the wheel studs on vehicles equipped with 17-inch steel wheels could break, potentially leading to a wheel coming loose and falling off.
Ford informed the National Highway Traffic Administration (N.H.T.S.A.) of the recall that it became aware of the problem in August 2010 when some wheel studs fractured during lug-nut tightening in the plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, where the sedans were assembled.
Ford said that “an extensive investigation” was already under way when, in January 2011, N.H.T.S.A. independently announced its own inquiry into the issue. The agency said its investigation was prompted by consumer complaints about the studs breaking. That included four complaints of a wheel coming off.
In its response to the agency’s investigation, Ford downplayed the possibility that a wheel would come off, saying noise or vibration would prompt owners to go to a dealership. It was also highly unlikely, the automaker said, that all five wheel studs would break at the same time.
Despite Ford’s assurances, the agency said in July that it had enough reason for concern that it was upgrading its investigation.
Ford’s recall report said that as of Sept. 30, 2011, it knew of one front wheel and five rear wheels coming off “that may be attributable” to the defect. Susan Krusel, a spokeswoman for Ford, wrote in an e-mail Friday that the automaker was not aware of any accidents resulting from the problem.
Your vehicle may be affected in this recall
If you have experienced problems with your lemon 2010-11 Ford Fusions and Mercury Milans, call the experienced lemon law lawyers at the California Lemon Law Center for a FREE case evaluation.
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