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Product recalls, accident concerns persist with car makers

Ford cars, trucks, SUVs and minivans constitute flagship brands and are popular consumer choices in Ohio and everywhere else across the country. The company has a singular and enduring history in the United States, with deep loyalties among many of its vehicle buyers.

And, now, some problems to boot.

Along with its major competitors, Ford Motor Company has not been spared in recent years by issues relating to some of its vehicle models that have brought about adverse publicity and charges that product defects cause or increase the likelihood of car accidents and other problems.

In fact, and just within the past two months, we have informed readers on several occasions of product recalls issued by various manufacturers relating to a wide host of problems. Toyota has had ongoing problems and concerns with steering defects in some of its models; the electric batteries on General Motors' Chevy Volt car show a propensity for bursting into flame following accidents; and some older GM vans have a demonstrated corrosion problem that can cause fuel leaks.

Ford now adds to the collective concerns, having just announced earlier this month that it is recalling about half a million of its SUVS and minivans for accident-risk problems.

The company's Escape SUV, note s Ford, might not have been properly fixed the first time around, in a 2007 recall. Some of the SUVs leak brake fluid, which can cause fires.

Arguably, the steering problems with some of the company's Freestar and Monterey Mercury minivans are even more alarming. Their torque converter shafts have been known to fail, which brings about a sudden loss of power.

Although Ford cites only two "minor" accidents resulting from that, it is nonetheless recalling every Freestar and Monterey minivan made in 2004 and 2005.

Source: Bloomberg, "Ford recalls 490,000 minivans, SUVs for safety flaws" Angela Greiling Keane, Jan. 11, 2012

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