WASHINGTON - Ford Motor Co. is recalling 175,000 Ford Crown Victorias and Lincoln Town Cars sold primarily to police departments and limousine and fleet operators because of a flaw in their heavy-duty suspensions.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said a bearing in the lower control arm ball joint can wear prematurely and crack. If the joint separates and the control arm drops to the ground, a driver could lose control of the vehicle, the agency said.
NHTSA began a defect investigation of 1996 Crown Victoria police cars last August after getting eight complaints of failed ball joints. It closed the investigation in December after Ford agreed to the recall.
The recall spans the model years from mid-1996 to early-1999 and covers a handful of cars from prior years that received the joints as replacements, said Ford spokeswoman Karen Shaugh-nessy.
NHTSA, in its monthly compilation of safety recalls, also listed the following:
1999 FORD EXPEDITION, LINCOLN NAVIGATOR
Problem: Fuel line assemblies, damaged in manufacture, leak
Fix: Replace fuel line assemblies
1999 CHEVROLET TRACKER
Problem: Coupling that connects steering column to intermediate steering shaft is cracked, may separate
Fix: Replace coupling
1999 OLDSMOBILE ALERO, PONTIAC GRAND AM
Problem: Inadequately tightened nut allows steering wheel to loosen on shaft
Fix: Tighten nut
1998-99 DAEWOO LANOS
Problem: Steering wheel hub loosens on steering column
Fix: Replace steering wheel with revised design
1997-98 INFINITI Q45
Problem: Key can be removed without transmission being in 'park'
Fix: Replace shift lock control unit
1996-97 SATURN, ALL MODELS
Problem: Horn fails to operate or operates without being pressed; heat can build up in the system and cause a fire
Fix: Replace horn assembly
1996-97 CHEVROLET CAVALIER, PONTIAC SUNFIRE
Problem: Rear suspension trailing arm bolts break
Fix: Replace trailing arm fasteners
1995 CHEVROLET LUMINA, BUICK REGAL, OLDSMOBILE CUTLASS, PONTIAC GRAND PRIX
Problem: Stress cracks appear in center rear seat belt anchor
Fix: Replace center rear seat belt system
1993-95 AUDI 90, 100, CABRIOLET, ALL WITH V-6
Problem: Fuel injectors leak
Fix: Replace injectors