Ford Edge, Fusion probed over doors, power steering

Federal investigators are taking a deeper look into two issues that have already led Ford to issue related recalls.

One involves 1,560 reports of the "door ajar" light on the instrument cluster staying on all the time in 2011 to 2013 Ford Edge crossovers, even when all the doors are properly latched.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the number of vehicles involved is about 380,000.

Safety consequences of the problem include reports that doors flung open while the vehicle was being driven, doors that couldn't be locked while the car was being driven and dome lights that stayed on continuously, NHTSA says in its report.

Ford has had three recalls since April 2015 to fix latches after reports that doors can fly open while the vehicle is being driven. They totaled 2.4 million vehicles. But Ford says the latches in the older Edges under scrutiny are of a different design.

As such, Ford spokeswoman Elizabeth Weigandt says the Edge's door latches were not involved in the previous recalls, and the focus of the current probe is on the "door ajar" light.

"We will cooperate with NHTSA on these investigations, as we always do," Weigandt said. "Ford is committed to delivering top quality in our vehicles. We continuously evaluate our processes for potential improvements and, when the data indicates a safety recall is needed, we move quickly on behalf of our customers."

One injury and no crashes were reported from the door-latch issue.

In the other case under investigation, NHTSA is looking into 547 reports of the failure of power steering in 2010 Ford Fusions. The probe could potentially involve 262,599 cars.

If the power steering fails, the steering wheel becomes difficult to turn and the car can crash. There were 12 reported accidents with four injuries associated with the investigation, NHTSA says.

Drivers say the problem can occur at high and low speeds. A warning light can come on when the problem occurs.

Ford has issued a recall for 2011 and 2012 Fusions that use the same electric-steering unit. Now, the probe has been extended to the 2010 model because of a high number of complaints.

USA TODAY


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