Ford Motor Co. said it’s recalling about 1.1 million sport-utility vehicles in North America to fix sensor and electronic flaws that could lead to the sudden loss of power steering while driving.
The larger recall covers 915,216 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs to update software or to replace torque sensors or steering columns. The second includes 195,527 Ford Explorers to repair an intermittent electrical connection, the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker said in a statement.
Ford adds to the almost 23 million cars recalled in the U.S. this year, exceeding last year’s total and approaching the 31 million high-mark set in 2004. General Motors Co. accounts for more than half the recalls this year, about 14 million, mostly because of an ignition-switch defect linked to 13 deaths.
Five crashes and six injuries have been reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concerning the Escape and Mariner torque sensor, a Ford spokeswoman, Kelli Felker, said in an e-mailed statement. The recall affects the 2008 through 2011 model year versions of the SUVs.
For the Explorer recall, Ford is aware of 15 low-speed accidents and two minor injuries associated with power-steering loss, Felker said. Explorers from model years 2011 to 2013 will need to either have their software updated or steering gear replaced, the company said.
The Explorer recall covers 177,747 U.S. models, 11,923 in Canada and 4,577 in Mexico, according to the company statement. An additional 1,280 SUVs in federalized territories are also included.