Ford is conducting a voluntary safety recall on certain 2010-2011 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan sedans for a possible wheel defect that may result in wheels falling off.
A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) site puts the number of potential affected units at 128,616 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan vehicles equipped with 17-inch steel wheels. Affected vehicles were built from April 1, 2009 through April 30, 2009 and from December 1, 2009 through November 13, 2010 at a Ford plant in Hermosillo, Mexico.
The NHTSA notice says that the wheel studs may fracture, which could potentially cause the wheel to separate from the vehicle. The consequence of this condition is that, while driving, multiple stud fractures could occur at the wheel location and the driver could experience vehicle vibration and/or wheel separation. This increases the risk of a crash.
Documentation from Ford indicates that vehicles equipped with alloy wheels are not affected. The company said it was aware of one front wheel separation and five rear wheel separations that may be attributable to the defect condition.
What Ford will do
Ford will notify owners of affected vehicles by mail and dealers will inspect the rear brake disc surface for flatness and will replace discs, as necessary, at no charge to owners. In addition, dealers will replace the wheel lug nuts on all four wheels. The safety recall campaign is expected to begin on or about January 24, 2012.
In the meantime, owners of 2010-2011 Ford Fusion or Mercury Milan vehicles with any questions or concerns may contact Ford at 1-866-436-7332. Reference the Ford safety recall campaign number 11S23.
Alternatively, owners of vehicles involved in the campaign may contact the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to http://www.safercar.gov. Reference the NHTSA campaign ID No. 11V574000.