You’ve heard the expression “the wheels are coming off” before, right? It’s a phrase that gets used when something starts going terribly wrong following a period of success. For example, your friends or a co-worker may have said, “Those Patriots were great all season then the wheels started coming off in the Super Bowl,” or any other instance of something suddenly taking a turn for the worst.
Ford Motor Company knows that saying all too well because it’s happening to them right now. Literally.
The American automaker announced a major recall that affects nearly 1.4 million cars after drivers began complaining that the steering wheels on some of Ford’s models were coming off into their hands.
The company confirmed that it knows of at least one injury and two accidents that were a result of the steering wheel coming off but numerous other complaints about the same issue were reported.
Over the last several months, complaints have been pouring into the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the serious issue with the steering wheels on Ford Fusions and Lincoln MKZs.
“While driving on (the) interstate, steering wheel came loose and car veered off interstate. I regained control but steering wheel is still loose. Repairs will cost beyond my means at this moment,” an anonymous driver in Tennessee reported.
An Illinois driver reported a similar incident in November.
“While driving approximately 55 (miles per hour), the steering wheel turned 360 degrees independently without warning. In addition, the steering wheel detached from the vehicle,” they wrote.
Ford says the cause of the issue is “potentially loose steering wheel bolts that could result in a steering wheel detaching from the steering column,” the Detroit carmaker said in a statement.