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Faulty 2012 Ford Focus Windshield Wipers Could Lead to Car Accidents

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2012 Ford Focus

2012 Ford Focus.

As many as 140,310 2012 Ford Focus models are being recalled because they could be at risk of an accident due to a problem with their windshield wipers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Richard Read reports for The Car Connection:

According to a bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the flaw in the Focus has been traced to the harness connector that holds the electrical wires powering the passenger’s side windshield wiper. A seal in that connector may be missing, and over time, water, debris, and other gunk could accumulate inside.

If that happens, the motor may operate intermittently or not at all, which means that the passenger’s side wiper might not work reliably, which, in turn, could cause serious visibility problems during inclement weather. And that’s a recipe for an accident.

Christopher Jensen writes in The New York Times blog Wheels that Ford told dealers that the recall covered 2012 Focus models built through Oct. 18, 2011, at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan. In a phone interview with Jensen, Ford spokesman Daniel Pierce said that Ford continued to build 2012 models after Oct. 18, but those models are not being recalled. Pierce said the Wayne, Michigan, plant, where all Focus models sold in the United States are assembled, discovered the problem.

Ford will notify owners of affected vehicles on or around May 21, 2012, Edward A. Sanchez writes for Motor Trend. Dealers will inspect, clean, and properly seal the wiper motor connection if necessary, and at no charge to car owners. The recall campaign number is 12S29. Customers can contact Ford to see if their vehicle is affected at 866-436-7332 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to .

According to Wikipedia, Ford figures in the history of windshield wipers. The first modern intermittent wipers, Wikipedia reports, were invented in 1963 by a Wayne State University professor named Robert Kearns:

 The road to intermittent wipers began earlier, on his wedding night in 1953, when an errant champagne cork shot into Kearn’s left eye, which eventually went almost completely blind. Nearly a decade later, Kearns was driving his Ford Galaxie through a light rain, and the constant movement of the wiper blades irritated his already troubled vision. He got to thinking about the human eye, which has its own kind of wiper, the eyelid, that automatically closes and opens every few seconds. Finally in 1963, Kearns put his idea into action, building the first intermittent wiper system using off-the-shelf electronic components. Kearns showed it to the Ford Motor Company, and proposed manufacturing the design.

Image by Ford, used under Fair Use: Reporting.


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