— Ford Motor Company is recalling about 380,000 vehicles in six recalls for various safety defects, some which have caused accidents.
Ford says about 342,000 model year 1998-2003 Windstar vans need repaired after reports of a "small number" of accidents caused by rear axles that break. The automaker didn't say what it meant by a "small number" of accidents, but Ford said no injuries have been reported.
The 1998-2003 Windstar was recalled in 2010 and again early in 2012 for the same rear axle problems, but Ford said it has now determined the recalls didn't fix anything and those vans need re-repaired.
The rear axle problem is caused by the combined effects of corrosion and stress that can cause cracks in the rear axle that eventually cause the axle to break. Ford says the previous fix involved installing a reinforcement bracket to the rear axle to provide support in case the axle fractured. However, dealers didn't correctly install the brackets on all the vans.
The recalled Windstar vans were built September 2, 1997, through July 3, 2003, with 283,413 of the affected vans located in the U.S. and federalized territories, and another 58,858 Windstar vans in Canada.
Ford's solution is to do what other automakers have done, but what has come back to bite many of those automakers.
Ford says it will inspect the vans to determine if the brackets were installed correctly during the previous recall. If a dealer finds a bracket wasn't installed properly, the entire rear axle will be replaced.
If a dealer determines a bracket was installed correctly, a customer will receive an incentive to replace the rear axle at a reduced price. The offer will be good for one year and it doesn't matter how many miles are on the van.
Ford didn't say what the "incentive" will be or how much of a price break owners will receive, but it's clear the automaker would provide more safety for consumers if all the rear axles were replaced even if the brackets were installed correctly.
Adaptive cruise control problems on the 2015 Ford F-150 have caused about 37,000 of those trucks to be recalled. Here comes the scary part because as computers, cameras, lasers and radar systems control our vehicles, incidents such as these are occurring more frequently.
Ford says if the F-150 passes a large highly reflective truck, the adaptive cruise control radar can identify the large shiny truck as being in the same lane as the F-150, even when it's not. The fun begins when the F-150 automatically hits the brakes until the large truck is determined to no longer be a threat.
While a driver is trying to figure out why the F-150 is braking on its own, the collision warning system will activate with red warning lights and sounds. A driver traveling behind the F-150 will be having their own fun by avoiding the braking F-150.
Ford says it's aware of at least one accident but no reported injuries. The automaker says 33,481 of the trucks are in the U.S. and federalized territories, and another 3,376 F-150 trucks are in Canada.
The recalled F-150 trucks were built during two time periods: March 18, 2014, through August 5, 2015, and August 11, 2014, through August 6, 2015.
Ford dealers will reprogram the cruise control module with updated ACC radar software. The recall is expected to begin October 19, 2015. Owners may contact Ford at 866-436-7332 and reference recall number 15S29.
Ford F-53 and F-59
Ford is recalling about 1,500 model year 2016 Ford F-53 and F-59 stripped chassis vehicles that could shift into reverse without a driver pushing the brake pedal.
Ford says the shift control bracket might not have been made correctly and the defect allows reverse gear to be used without need of the brake pedal. The automaker says the vehicles could easily move into reverse and cause an accident, but so far no accidents or injuries have been reported.
The recalled vehicles were built in Detroit between June 1, 2015, through August 11, 2015.
Ford dealers will replace the transmission shift control bracket and adjust the transmission shift cable during the recall, which should begin November 9, 2015. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 866-436-7332 and give them recall number 15S25.
Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ
About 708 model year model year 2016 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ cars have gas tanks that could crack in a crash. Ford says the gas tanks may not have been manufactured correctly and could fail, leading to a gas leak and possible fire.
The automaker says the recalled 2016 Ford Fusion vehicles were built September 3, 2015, through September 13, 2015, and the 2016 Lincoln MKZ cars were manufactured September 3, 2015, through September 12, 2015.
There are 658 recalled cars in the United States and federalized territories, 28 cars in Canada and 22 in Mexico.
Ford dealers will replace the gas tanks in the recalled cars. The recall is expected to begin October 19, 2015. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 15C11.
Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKS and Ford Explorer
Another small recall will see 251 model year 2015 Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKS and 2016 Ford Explorer vehicles called back because the gas tanks could detach from the vehicles. Ford says bolts that hold the gas tank to the vehicle may not have been tightened properly and cause the fuel tank straps to break.
Owners can use their imaginations about what could happen with a detached gas tank, but expect gas to leak and possibly cause a fire.
Although a dangerous situation, Ford is unaware of any accidents, fires or injuries related to the defect.
The automaker says all the recalled vehicles were built in Chicago on July 24, 2015. There are 203 vehicles in the U.S. and 48 in Canada.
The recall is expected to begin October 19, 2015, when dealers will tighten the fuel tank attachment bolts if needed. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 866-436-7332 and give them recall number 15S26.
Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner
More older Ford vehicles are recalled as the automaker announced 69 model year 2001-2008 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs have transmission problems.
The SUVs have remanufactured transmissions that could have loose shift control lever bolts. A loose bolt could cause the shift lever to disengage from the transmission and leave the SUV free to roll away. Ford says a driver will have no warning the shift lever and transmission are no longer connected.
The recalled SUVs have transmissions that were built between June 11, 2015, through July 5, 2015, with 57 SUVs in the U.S. and 11 SUVs in Canada.
The recall is expected to begin October 19, 2015. Ford dealers will inspect the transmissions and either tighten the manual shift lever bolt or replace the manual shift lever assembly. Owners may contact Ford at 866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 15S28.
Read complaints about the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles listed in the recalls: