US: NHTSA investigates 500,000 Fords image

The second largest US automaker revealed the federal safety regulator is currently probing around 500,000 of its vehicles for alleged steering issues.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened the investigation – which is among the first steps to be taken before eventually reaching a recall mandate – into Ford cars, such as the Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis and Marauder, with the assessed units being from model years 2004 to 2007.

According to the safety agency’s website, the NHTSA is reviewing the autos for an issue signaled by five complaints, including one injury. The heat shield in these cars could fail due to rust, causing it to dislodge and eventually leading to a jam in the steering wheel system.

So far, 2014 has been the record year of recalls – with General Motors alone leading the pack in North America, but with several other manufacturers also lodging millions of vehicles in the well-known Takata airbag debacle. Still, neither Ford nor Chrysler have exceeded their usual tally of recalls for various issues – with the latter only now making its largest campaign for the year – recalling around 900,000 sport utility vehicles. Both companies have acknowledged the problems their rival is going through, adding they also tightened the scrutiny over their own cars.

Via Reuters