America’s second-largest carmaker Ford has recalled 1.4 million vehicles to fix problems with steering columns and other technical defects. The move came in the wake of a major safety scandal at rival General Motors.
In the largest of the recalls, Ford said on Thursday it’s calling back some 915,000 million sport utility vehicles (SUVs) to fix a problem with the torque sensor within the steering column that could potentially cause a loss of power steering – a factor that could raise the risk of a crash.
Another additional recall affects Ford’s Taurus sedans built between 2010 and 2014 because they could be prone to a corrosion problem. Finally, a problem with floor mats potentially coming into contact with the gas pedal has also prompted the company to pull back over 80,000 FordFusion, Mercury Milan, Lincoln Zephyr and Lincoln MKZ cars from the 2006 through 2011 model years.
Most of the Ford recalls are in the United States and Canada. The company has not said how much the recall campaigns are expected to cost the carmaker.
GM, Toyota cases heighten concerns
The move comes amid growing scrutiny of automobile safety in the US by regulators. Car giant General Motors is under intense pressure to improve its safety standards after it was accused of failing to address technical defects that began with its ignition switch issue in older model cars. Those faults have been linked to 13 deaths.
GM was fined a record $35 million (25.7 million Euros) earlier this month, the maximum allowed by US law. The car giant has recalled over 13 million cars in the US so far this year.
In a separate case, US authorities recently made carmaker Toyota pay a $1.2 billion penalty for concealing information from government safety regulators.
Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, said the recalls could be caused by heightened concern by automakers because of the GM and Toyota cases.
"I do think manufacturers are more willing to issue a recall at this point because their sheer number in recent months has become a sort of background white noise for consumers," he said in a statement.