The U.S. auto-safety regulators have recently concluded a seven-year investigation into complaints regarding power-assisted steering failures in Ford Fusions. After conducting extensive testing, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced on Monday that they would not be initiating any additional recalls as a result of their findings.
During their investigation, the NHTSA discovered that the power-assist failure in Ford Fusions resulted in only minor changes in steering effort. Furthermore, they observed a decreasing trend in the failure rate over time. Interestingly, the agency also found that Fusions that were not subjected to recalls had a lower failure rate, strengthening their conclusion.
This inquiry was initiated in September 2016 following over 500 complaints received by the NHTSA, reporting sudden failures of power steering in Ford Fusions and the subsequent difficulty in steering the midsize sedans. The scope of the probe encompassed approximately 263,000 Fusions from the 2010 model year.
Subsequently, in 2017, this investigation was upgraded to an engineering analysis. The purpose was to delve deeper into the frequency and scope of the problem as the NHTSA and Ford received thousands of additional complaints, some of which claimed 59 crashes and 13 injuries resulting from the power-steering failures.
However, the latest documents posted by the NHTSA on Monday indicated that no significant safety-related defect trends were identified during their investigation. It is worth noting that in 2015, Ford had already issued a recall for nearly 394,000 Fusions and other vehicles in the United States from the model years 2011 to 2013. This recall aimed to address an issue with the power steering that could potentially shut down due to a steering-motor sensor fault.
The closure of this investigation brings relief to Ford Fusion owners, as it indicates that their vehicles are not subject to any widespread power-steering failures that could compromise their safety on the road.