Ford Motor Company is recalling 2011-2013 Explorer SUVs for a steering problem.
On affected vehicles, the power steering may revert to manual steering due to the power steering control module detecting a motor position sensor failure. This is a safety default built into the system, should the electric power assist fail.
In manual mode, there is still mechanical linkage between the steering wheel and the road wheels, allowing steering control to be maintained. When this condition occurs, a message will display in the Instrument Cluster Message Center, a chime will sound to inform the driver, and the steering effort may be greater--something the driver may not anticipate, which could lead to a crash.
Ford is still developing a new software fix for this problem. It is expected to be released in late July, 2014.
Ford dealers will do one of two things to alleviate this problem for owners who complain of steering loss. Dealers will scan the Power Steering Control Module (PSCM) for codes; if DTCs (Diagnostic Trouble Codes) are found, dealers will replace the steering gear. If no DTCs are found, dealers will upgrade the software when the fix comes available.
Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed starting July 21st, 2014.
Ford is offering a refund for owners that paid for repairs covered by this recall, if the repair was performed prior to the date indicated in the reimbursement plan, which will be noted in the owner's letter. Owners can seek reimbursement either through an authorized dealer or directly through Ford Motor Company.
For more info or answers to questions, call Ford Customer Service at 800-392-3673, and reference recall # 14S06 entitled Recall - Loss of Power Steering Assist.
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