Feds Probe 2004-'07 Ford Crown Victoria for Steering Column Shaft Obstruction | Edmunds

Feds Probe 2004-'07 Ford Crown Victoria for Steering Column Shaft Obstruction


Just the Facts:
  • NHTSA has opened an investigation into an estimated 500,000 2004-'07 Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Mercury Marauder cars for steering column shaft obstruction.
  • The driver's side exhaust manifold heat shield can rust and become dislodged, potentially jamming the steering shaft.
  • NHTSA said it has received five complaints alleging incidents of steering shaft obstruction.

WASHINGTON The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into an estimated 500,000 2004-'07 Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Mercury Marauder cars for steering column shaft obstruction.

The driver's side exhaust manifold heat shield can rust and become dislodged, potentially jamming the steering shaft.

NHTSA said it has received five complaints alleging incidents of steering shaft obstruction.

"The complaints indicated that the driver's side exhaust manifold shield can dislodge due to corrosion of the attachment bolts and become jammed between the manifold and steering shaft, preventing the steering from turning or requiring excessive force to overcome the interference," said NHTSA in its summary of the probe. "In one incident, the steering allegedly locked up on a highway entrance ramp, causing a rollover crash and injury.

"The complaint indicated that the heat shield was discovered to be dislodged after the crash, with witness marks from the alleged obstruction between the steering shaft and engine block."

"We will cooperate with NHTSA on this investigation, as we always do," wrote Kelli Felker, a Ford spokeswoman, in response to a query from Edmunds.

NHTSA has opened a "preliminary evaluation" into the matter. Such an action sometimes precedes a vehicle recall.

Edmunds says: Consumers will have to wait for federal safety regulators to finish their work before taking any action. But if you own one of these cars and are experiencing a problem with it, get it into your dealership immediately.

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