Discover How to Stay Safe When Power Steering Fails
Imagine driving around town and without any warning, the steering wheel ends up in your lap. Or, you are driving, and again, without warning, the steering wheel begins turning, and there’s no safe way of stopping it. Well, for dozens of Ford vehicle drivers, they didn’t have to imagine that scenario; it happened. This dangerous situation came to light just a few days ago, and Ford has now issued a recall on over a million cars to address this problem quickly.
Two Ford Models Impacted by Steering Issue
The vehicles involved in this latest recall are the Ford Fusion, built at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant from Aug. 2013 – Feb. 2016, the Ford Fusion, built at the Ford Hermosillo Assembly Plant between July 2013 and March 2018, and the Lincoln MKZ also built at the Ford Hermosillo Assembly Plant during that same period. The main issue, according to a Ford news release, revolves around a bolt that can come loose, causing the steering wheel to behave erratically or fall out of the steering column altogether.
According to one news report, a Ford spokesperson says the company is aware of at least two vehicle accidents directly connected to this bolt defect, which has injured at least one person. Steering is vital to your continued safety, and the risk to drivers of losing that capability is a scary situation, especially for those in Colorado who can often find themselves in mountainous terrain. It wasn’t that long ago when a woman driving through Red Hill Pass, a high mountain pass in Central Colorado, lost her electric power steering and crashed, plummeting down an embankment. She was found a week later in her wrecked vehicle and survived, but not without serious and life-changing injuries.
When it comes to vehicle crashes, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), noted in its 2015 Traffic Safety Facts that it had identified critical reasons that attributed to an estimated 44,000 wrecks. Steering and engine-related problems were among the top three vehicle related critical issues listed as a cause of auto accidents.
What to Do If Your Steering Goes Out
Drivers of all kinds of vehicles can find it difficult to steer, a problem that often results from the power steering system. In many cases, the system is low on steering fluid. Sometimes though, there can be a complete and sudden power steering system failure, which can cause the driver to lose control or have an extremely difficult time turning the wheel. Experts say if you suddenly find yourself unable to steer your vehicle, the first thing you should do is keep a level head and not panic. Second, you must warn those around you that you are having some vehicle difficulty. You can do this by honking your horn and turning on your emergency blinkers.
Remember never to slam on your brakes if you lose steering control; it could send the vehicle spinning, and without steering, or even with extremely difficult steering, there’s no regaining control of the vehicle. Gradually slow the vehicle down and safely pull off the road as soon as possible. Experts also advise that taking part in regular vehicle maintenance can highlight problems before they become serious and keep you from ever having to deal with a situation that puts you or others in danger.
If you aren’t sure if your Ford is part of this latest recall, or if you want to check on recalls of any make and model, go to Safecare.gov, and use your vehicle identification number (VIN), to check the recall status of your vehicle.