NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2011 Lincoln MKZ

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2011 Lincoln MKZ, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: Electric power steering failure

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE14030

    Component(s): Steering:Electric Power Assist System

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened a preliminary evaluation to investigate complaints of the loss of power steering while driving. The subject vehicles are equipped with a rack mounted Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) unit.Some of the complaints alleged that the steering assist failed and resulted in increased steering efforts that contributed to a loss of control and in some cases a crash.The EPAS system was manufactured by TRW Automotive for Ford and was designated as Generation I.These units were first produced and put into vehicle production in July 2008 beginning with the model year (MY) 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan.The system is comprised of a mechanical steering rack-and-pinion gear with torque sensor, electric assist motor, motor position sensor and a power steering control module (PSCM). The PSCM is self-monitoring and designed to detect faults within the system and can store diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) if a problem is detected.There are 29 potential DTCs the system can detect.Many of these allow the system to go into reduced-assist steering mode by using the default vehicle speed signal should the live speed signal be lost, if voltage to EPAS system falls below 10.7 or goes above 17 volts, the temperature at the PSCM goes above 105C (221F), or if high friction is detected.Some DTCs will cause the system to go into manual steering mode (no assist). On July 1, 2015, Ford filed a Defect Information Report (DIR) identifying a safety related defect in TRW GEN I EPAS systems installed in some of the subject vehicles (NHTSA Recall 15V-340, Ford No. 15S18).The DIR indicated that intermittent electrical connections caused by quality issues associated with conformal coat contamination and ribbon cable pin misalignment within the steering gear motor may lead to a loss of the motor position sensor signal, resulting in a sudden loss of power assist while driving.The recall covers approximately 393,623 vehicles built from September 2010 through February 2012:2011-12 Fusion built SEP 2010 - FEB 2012; 2011-12 Lincoln MKZ built SEP 2010 - FEB 2012; 2011 Milan built SEP 2010 - DEC 2010; 2011-13 Taurus built SEP 2010 - FEB 2012; 2011-13 Flex with 3.5L GTDI engine built SEP 2010 - FEB 2012; and 2011-13 MKS, MKT with 3.5L GTDI engine built SEP 2010 - FEB 2012.The repair consists of updating the PSCM software to prevent a loss of steering assist while driving. The revised software will provide audible and visual warnings to the driver. If one or more of the following DTCs are stored, C1B00-62, C200B-2F, C200B-61, C200B-62, C200C-2F, C200D-49, U0300-00, U2011-49, U2011-61, U3000-46, U3000-49, U3000-61, U3000-72, U3000-96, P07AE-09, the dealer will replace the EPAS system at no charge to the owner.ODI's analysis of failure data for this PE identified a total of 2,584 complaints to ODI and Ford and 9,967 Ford warranty claims related to the alleged defect.The recalled vehicles account for 1,634 of the complaints and 7,311 of the warranty claims.ODI's analysis identified 40 complaints alleging crashes that may be related to loss of steering assist while driving, 20 of which involved vehicles included in Ford's recall.The information available for the alleged crashes were not sufficient to assess specific causes of the incidents or to verify EPAS malfunctions in each case.Most of the crashes were low-speed impacts with curbs or roadside objects resulting in wheel or minor body damage.None of the injury claims indicated medical attention was required.In addition, statistical modeling of the failure data by NHTSA's National Center for Statistics and Analysis projected 10-year failure rates of approximately 8-14 percent for the recalled vehicles and approximately 1 percent for the non-recalled subject vehicles.This investigation is closed.All ODI complaints associated with this closing resume are listed in the Attachment.

  2. INVESTIGATION: Floor mat interference with accelerator

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA12009

    Component(s): Vehicle Speed Control
    Vehicle Speed Control:Accelerator Pedal

    Summary: On May 27, 2014, Ford Motor Company submitted recall 14E-028 (Ford recall #14S07) to correct a safety-related problem with certain driver's side Ford optional all-weather floor mats sold for use in model year 2006 through 2011 model year Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Lincoln Zephyr, and Lincoln MKZ vehicles built at Hermosillo Assembly Plant (HAP) from November 9, 2007, to October 31,2010.NHTSA testing determined that the original accessory all-weather mat with a single retention clip (Figure 1), may interfere with accelerator pedal return to idle with the mat retained by the clip and rotated clockwise.Both the single- and double-clip (Figure 2) all-weather floor mats may interfere with the accelerator pedal return to idle when the mats are not secured by the retention clip(s).Testing showed that this can occur if the mats are moved forward from the clipped position approximately two inches into a position in which the rear edge of the mats will abut the retention clip(s) when installed singly and align with the clip(s) when stacked on another floor mat.The pedal interference incidents reviewed by the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) include 1 crash and 9 incidents with allegations of brake friction materials smoking and/or requiring repair for heat related damage.The crash incident occurred after the parking brake was applied at speed, resulting in loss-of-control vehicle yaw event caused by lock-up of the rear tires.The spin-out resulted in a side impact collision with an oncoming vehicle in an opposing lane of traffic. For the 29 incidents with sufficient information available to make an assessment; 23 (79%) were controlled by the driver either shifting to neutral, turning the engine off, or both; 4 (14%) were ended by the driver either kicking the pedal free (2) or pulling the mat away from the pedal (2); and 2 (7%) were ended by the pedal freeing itself from the mat with no apparent driver action.None of the drivers who reacted to the incident by shifting to neutral or turning the engine off reported any difficulties with either action.The subject mats were sold by Ford and Lincoln dealers directly to customers as an optional accessory equipment item or, beginning in November 2007, the mats were also available as a factory installed accessory if ordered with a new vehicle.Ford estimates that approximately 82,579 affected driver's side all weather floor mats were sold worldwide; either over the counter through Ford dealerships or as original equipment.Owners that purchased the subject all-weather floor mats as a factory installed accessory with their new vehicle will be notified to return their all weather floor mats to their Ford or Lincoln Dealership in exchange for replacement mats.Owners of all other potentially affected vehicles will be notified that, if they have an affected Ford driver's side all weather floor mat, they should return their mats to the dealership in exchange for replacement mats.The VOQs associated with the closing of this investigation are: 10327597, 10332233, 10334211, 10335336, 10339330, 10348772 (and duplicate 10342572), 10372674, 10379562, 10415911, 10426255, 10434107, 10521053, 10554966.This investigation is hereby closed.

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