COVID-19 NOTIFICATION: To protect your safety in response to the threat of COVID-19, our staff is still available to serve you during our normal office hours. We are offering our clients and potential clients the option to connect with us via telephone, email and video-conferencing. Please call or email us to discuss your options.

Ford recently issued a recall for more than 1.3 million cars and SUVs. The recall is due to problems with floor mats, rust and steering. The largest recall was in relation to a steering auto defect that increases the risk of drivers in West Virginia and elsewhere getting into a serious crash.

More than 900,000 Mercury Mariner and Ford Escape SUVs (model years 2008 through 2011) were recalled in order to fix a steering-related issue. Apparently, the torque sensor within the steering column is defective. This could result in the vehicle being difficult to control because of lack of proper steering. Ford acknowledges that this could increase the risk of being involved in an accident.

Another steering-related issue prompted the recall of Ford Explorer SUVs (2011 through 2013 model years). Power steering can be eliminated due to a potential electrical problem. In addition, close to 200,000 Taurus (years 2012 through 2014) sedans were recalled due to potential rust near the light on the license plate, which could create a fire hazard. Roughly 82,000 Lincoln MKZ and Zephyr, Mercury Milan and Ford Fusion vehicles were also recalled due to the potential of improperly positioned floor mats coming into contact with the accelerator.

It is not uncommon for an auto defect to cause a serious crash, especially when steering issues are involved. This is one reason why manufacturers are required to carefully inspect vehicles prior to allowing them to leave the manufacturing facility. Unfortunately, vehicles are often released for sale with undetected problems.

Individuals in West Virginia who have been injured due to an auto defect may have legal recourse against the vehicle manufacturer and other parties along the supply chain. Understandably, that will not undo what has already occurred. However, a successfully litigated claim may result in a judicial finding that holds the car manufacturer and others financially responsible for any documented negligence. A court may also award monetary damages to the injured parties to assist in paying for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other financial losses.

Source: CBS News, “Ford issues recalls affecting 1.3M vehicles“, , May 29, 2014