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Ford recalling 126,000 Fusions and Milans over wheel separation concern

Fri, 09 Dec 2011 11:02:00 EST

Ford has announced a recall of certain Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan vehicles after an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A total of 128,616 2010 and 2011 models equipped with steel wheels may have been manufactured with wheel studs that could crack and split over time. If that happens, the vehicle may experience a wheel separation.
According to The Detroit News, the company is aware of a total of 30 wheel separation incidents, one of which occurred on the front of the vehicle. Even so, no injuries have been reported as a result of the defect.
The problem apparently stems from the fact that the mounting pads on the vehicles' steel wheels may have been faulty from the factory. In addition, the wheel mounting face on rear disc brakes may not have been installed properly. Ford will inspect the rear disc face and replace them as necessary. In addition, the company will replace all of the vehicle's wheel studs free of charge. Head to the NHTSA website for more information, and click past the jump to view the full recall notice.

Ford recalls Five Hundred, Mercury Montego sedans over fuel tank woes

Mon, 18 Jul 2011 08:59:00 EST

Ford has announced through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it is recalling nearly 3,000 examples of its Five Hundred and Mercury Montego (pictured) sedans from the 2007 model year.
The action, which affects 2,945 vehicles, is due to potentially defective welds between the filler neck and the fuel tank, a condition that could result in a fuel leak or the smell of gasoline reaching the occupants. In the worst-case scenario, a leak could cause a fire. Cars with the affected fuel tank problem could see an illuminated dashboard warning light as a result of the evaporative emissions leak being detected.
Ford will inspect and replace the fuel tank at no cost to owners (those who have already had the procedure done at-cost can apply for reimbursement), and the Dearborn automaker will begin notifying Five Hundred and Montego owners beginning August 15. Check out the official NHTSA press release after the jump for further details.

Fitting Retirement: Grand Marquis last Mercury off the line

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 09:00:00 EST

The signs have come down and retail production ended back in October of 2010. Now, the very last Mercury model has rolled off the assembly line. This last Mercury somewhat fittingly takes the form of a Grand Marquis reporting for fleet duty. It was built at the St. Thomas plant in Ontario, Canada, which is the same facility that continues to produce the Ford Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town Car for fleet and livery duty.
St. Thomas' days are numbered, however, as the factory is slated to close on August 31. When it goes, the Panther platform is likely to follow. So long, and thanks for all the fish memories.
[Source: Autoweek]Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Curtain officially comes down on Mercury as dealers remove signage

Mon, 03 Jan 2011 09:32:00 EST

The process of shutting down the Mercury is complete. Ford officially made the decision to close its mid-level brand in June of 2010. In the months that followed, Ford offered its dealers money to stop selling the cars, with production shutting down in September. The last Mercury, a Mariner, rolled off the assembly line in the beginning of October and former spokesperson Jill Wagner said her good-byes to both the car and her job. Now the last piece of the brand has come down as dealers are removing any and all Mercury signage from their lots.
[Source: Detroit News]Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Report: GM struggling to market turbo technology

Tue, 20 Apr 2010 16:01:00 EST

In the automotive realm, marketing can sometimes prove just as important as the actual product. Take, for instance, Ford's well regarded EcoBoost technology, which couples turbocharging with direct injection to produce more horsepower and reduce fuel consumption. Would it surprise you to hear that General Motors has had similar technology on the market for over three years?
It's true. GM's first turbocharged, direct injected powerplants hit the market for the 2007 model. The 2.0-liter Ecotec mills put down an impressive 260 horsepower and a matching 260 pound-feet of torque, and they were lauded by the press in the engine bays of the Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky, Chevrolet Cobalt SS and Chevrolet HHR SS. But few people outside a core group of enthusiasts actually remember this fact.
Says Uwe Grebe, executive director of GM's global advanced engineering, "We didn't have a badge and say, 'This is the most important thing we will put on all our brochures.'" Ford, however, did just that, and it's EcoBoost engines are right at the tips of all our tongues when we discuss today's most advanced powerplants. So, how does The General fix its mistake?

STUDY: Ford owns brand loyalty in 2009; Scorned Saturn, Pontiac buyers will look outside of GM

Fri, 16 Oct 2009 10:55:00 EST

Ford buyers appear to love their cars more than customers of any other automotive brand, returning back to the American automaker when it comes time to purchase their next vehicle. According to a study by Experian Automotive, six of the top 10 vehicles for customer brand loyalty wear badges from the Blue Oval. That includes the Ford Fusion (62.4 percent), Ford Edge (57.9 percent), Ford Five Hundred/Taurus (56 percent), Ford Freestyle (51.9 percent), Ford Escape (49.4 percent) and the Ford Focus (47.57 percent).
Other vehicles making up the top 10 include the Toyota Prius (52 percent), Chevy Impala (51.7 percent), Toyota Camry (47.8 percent) and Toyota Corolla (47.56 percent). This brings up an interesting question: With the closing of automotive brands like Saturn and Pontiac, where are those buyers to turn for their next automotive purchase?
Apparently, not back to General Motors. According to Experian, Pontiac owners are most likely to look to the Ford lineup for their next car or truck and Saturn shoppers will switch to Toyota or Honda - not particularly surprising given that Saturn was meant to compete with import brands. Experian predicts that GM's overall market share will fall from 20 percent to about 17.5 percent, with most of the slack being picked up by Ford, Honda and Toyota.