Drive Type: Automatic
Model: Crown Victoria
Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
Ford is recalling certain 2012 Taurus, 2013 Explorer and 2012 Lincoln MKS models over fuel tank concerns. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicles built between July 19, 2011 and March 15, 2012 may have been built with fuel tanks that have a "marginally sealed seam" on the side. Those seams may not provide the strength necessary to protect the tank from rupture during a collision. They may also leak. The recall covers a total of 3,037 vehicles. NHTSA says that leaked fuel, in the presence of an ignition source, could easily cause a fire.
Dealers will inspect the tanks and replace them as need be free of charge. Owners can expect to be notified once the campaign begins on or around April 22, 2013. You can read the full NHTSA recall notice below for more information.
Ford and Hyundai are out from under the scrutinizing eyes of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after the government agency said it was closing investigations against both automakers over vehicle safety concerns.
Ford was being investigated for reported damaged speed control cables on Ford Taurus (shown above) and Mercury Sable models, both built between 2000 and 2003. Vehicles with the company's Duratec engines allegedly failed to allow owners to brake as expected. Owners lodged 100 complaints and were involved in five accidents, according to NHTSA records. The American automaker responded to the reports, and on June 21 of this year, said that it would inspect and repair all affected vehicles, regardless of the mileage.
Hyundai was under investigation for a reported loose fastener on the steering shaft of its 2011 Santa Fe (shown in the gallery below). After NHTSA launched its inquiry, the Korean automaker responded with its own investigation that yielded four affected vehicles. Following the inspection of 680 vehicles at its assembly plant, Hyundai said the issue was due to employee error and that no further defects have been found.
Our spy photographers have just popped off a few shots of something curious. This little runabout was spotted in Germany out testing with a current-generation Ford Fiesta. We're fairly confident the machine is a Ford, but exactly which Ford model is up for debate. The hatchback could be the next-generation Ka, but we've also heard that the Blue Oval supermini might not get a replacement. Our shooter says the five-door is a bit smaller than the current Fiesta, though there is a chance that this rig is just an engineering mule for drivetrain development. Then again, it could be a model built specifically for the South African market or China, or not a Ford at all.
Whatever it is and wherever it's headed, you can check out in the gallery for a closer look before heading into Comments to weigh in with your best guess.