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NHTSA and Ford investigating steering issues in Crown Vic, Grand Marquis and Marauder

Fri, 11 Jul 2014 18:29:00 EST


There may be more steering woes for the Ford Crown Victoria. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a preliminary evaluation into the Crown Vic and Mercury Grand Marquis from the 2004 to 2007 model years and the Mercury Marauder for the 2004 and 2005 model years because the steering shaft can jam. The issue could potentially affect an estimated 500,000 vehicles.

According to the regulator, there is a possibility that the driver's side heat shield for the exhaust manifold can rust, dislodge, and then wedge into the steering shaft. If this occurs, it leads to a situation where the driver can no longer control the car.

NHTSA has received five complaints of this happening, including one alleged case with an injury. In that situation, the car was driving onto the highway, lost control and rolled over. One occupant was hurt in the accident.

This isn't the first case of potential steering issues with the Crown Vic. Ford recalled 370,000 of them in 2013 in fix some components because of possible corrosion. NHTSA also investigated some police models for issues with the steering shaft.

A Ford spokesperson told Autoblog via email: "We are cooperating with NHTSA on this investigation, as we always do." It has no further information about the evaluation at this time. Scroll down to read the entire NHTSA report.

INVESTIGATION Subject : Steering Column Shaft Obstruction

Date Investigation Opened: JUL 07, 2014
Date Investigation Closed: Open
NHTSA Action Number: PE14021
Component(s): ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING , STEERING
All Products Associated with this Investigation
Vehicle Make Model Model Year(s)
FORD CROWN VICTORIA 2004-2007
MERCURY GRAND MARQUIS 2004-2007
MERCURY MARAUDER 2004-2005

Details
Manufacturer: Ford Motor Company

SUMMARY:The Office of Defects Investigation has received five complaints alleging incidents of steering shaft obstruction caused by interference from a dislodged heat shield. The complaints indicated that the driver's side exhaust manifold shield can dislodge due to corrosion of the attachment bolts and become jammed between the manifold and steering shaft preventing the steering from turning or requiring excessive force to overcome the interference. In one incident (VOQ 10578715), the steering allegedly locked up on a highway entrance ramp, causing a rollover crash and injury. The complaint indicated that the heat shield was discovered to be dislodged after the crash, with witness marks from the alleged obstruction between the steering shaft and engine block. A preliminary evaluation has been opened to assess the frequency, scope and safety consequences of the alleged defect. VOQs associated with this investigation are: 10317493, 10471833, 10479681, 10545112, 10578715

ODI RESUME

Investigation: PE 14-021
Date Opened: 07/07/2014
Investigator: Chris Lash
Reviewer: Jeff Quandt
Approver: Frank Borris
Subject: Steering Column Shaft Obstruction

MANUFACTURER & PRODUCT INFORMATION
Manufacturer: Ford Motor Company
Products: MY 2004 to 2007 Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis, Marauder
Population: 500,000 (Estimated)
Problem Description: The drivers side exhaust manifold heat shield can rust and become dislodged, potentially jamming the steering shaft.


FAILURE REPORT SUMMARY





ODI





Manufacturer





Total





Complaints:





5





TBD





TBD





Crashes/Fires:





1





TBD





TBD





Injury Incidents:





1





TBD





TBD





Number of Injuries:





1





TBD





TBD





Fatality Incidents:





0





TBD





TBD





Number of Fatalities:





0





TBD





TBD





Other*:





0





Confidential





Confidential





*Description of Other: EWR field report data





ACTION / SUMMARY INFORMATION
Action: A preliminary evaluation has been opened.

Summary:
The Office of Defects Investigation has received five complaints alleging incidents of steering shaft obstruction caused by interference from a dislodged heat shield. The complaints indicated that the driver's side exhaust manifold shield can dislodge due to corrosion of the attachment bolts and become jammed between the manifold and steering shaft preventing the steering from turning or requiring excessive force to overcome the interference. In one incident (VOQ 10578715), the steering allegedly locked up on a highway entrance ramp, causing a rollover crash and injury. The complaint indicated that the heat shield was discovered to be dislodged after the crash, with witness marks from the alleged obstruction between the steering shaft and engine block.

A preliminary evaluation has been opened to assess the frequency, scope and safety consequences of the alleged defect.
VOQs associated with this investigation are: 10317493, 10471833, 10479681, 10545112, 10578715

By Chris Bruce


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