WASHINGTON - Ford Motor Co. is recalling 320,000 1997-98 Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers with 4.0-liter V-6 engines to warn owners against using a bracket adjacent to the battery to clamp a jumper cable.
The ungrounded bracket secures a fuel line; its use poses a hazard, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says. Dealers will put a warning label on the bracket and install a revised bolt on the alternator mount for attaching a ground cable.
Ford spokeswoman Karen Shaughnessy said the company has heard of no fires, accidents or injuries as a result of using the bracket.
Another Ford safety campaign does not require owners to return their vehicles but asks them to paste new, clearer headlight-aiming instructions in their vehicle manuals. NHTSA said the company is sending inserts to owners of 328,000 1997-98 Ford Tauruses and Mercury Sables.
Nissan's newly introduced 1998 Frontier pickup is the subject of two safety campaigns.
About 20,000 of the trucks with bucket seats are being recalled so that dealers can install a different handle on the seat-back recliner. This prevents the seat belt from slipping down beside the recliner lever where it could be severed in a crash.
About 3,000 Frontiers with automatic transmissions are to be returned to dealers to see if a pin in the transmission control assembly is faulty. If the pin comes loose, the shift lever could be inadvertently moved out of park.
Chrysler Corp. is recalling 245 1997 Plymouth Prowlers to check for missing welds on the frame. The agency said drivers might lose control of cars without the welds.
Ferrari North America is conducting two recalls of F355s. It is contacting 760 owners of 1995-97 models that have fuel injection line fittings that can fracture if aluminum nuts attaching them are too tight. Dealers are to install new lines with steel nuts. The company is asking 649 owners of 1997-98 models to have their cars checked for a water hose clamp that may scrape and damage a fuel injection line.
Other NHTSA-listed recalls:
1999 FORD F-350
Problems: The jack is too large to be secured under the rear seat, and the positive battery cable can wear out by rubbing on the air-conditioning compressor pulley.
Fixes: Replace the jack, and relocate the battery cable.
1998 JEEP WRANGLER,
Problem: Front seat belt shoulder anchors may give way.
Fix: Replace the anchor loops.
1997 JEEP WRANGLER WITH MANUAL STEERING
Problem: The steering wheel, in lock position, can damage airbag wiring, rendering it inoperable.
Fix: Replace the wiring.
1996 FORD TAURUS, MERCURY SABLE
Problem: Some serviced vehicles received 18-gallon replacement tanks with shipping plugs that can come out and cause fuel leaks.
Fix: Install the specified 16-gallon tank.
1995 FORD ECONOLINE
Problem: The parking brake cable can scrape and damage the fuel line.
Fix: Replace the fuel line and install anti-abrasion insulation.
1998 MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE, SPYDER
Problem: The dash panel pad can slip and prevent the throttle from returning to idle.
Fix: Remove part of the dash panel pad.
1998 CHEVROLET BLAZER, GMC JIMMY, OLDSMOBILE BRAVADA WITH FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE
Problem: The right-hand lower control arm may separate from the frame.
Fix: Tighten the control arm nuts to the specified torque.