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Recall initiated for potential steering loss in police vehicles

Virginia residents may be interested in a recall of certain Police Interceptors and other car models. This stems from an issue with the steering mechanism that has the potential to inhibit the proper steering of the vehicle.

The recall comes after an investigation by the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration. The NHSTA was alerted to the problem in 2012 through stories of certain police vehicles losing their steering capabilities. After looking into the issue, including an inspection of a police fleet garage in Maryland, the NHSTA has issued a recall of various Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln models. This includes not only the Police Interceptor Ford Crown Victorias, but all Crown Victorias, Lincoln Town Cars, and Mercury Grand Marquis from model years 2005 to 2011 in certain states, Virginia included.

The recall involves a problem with the steering system in the vehicles. Corrosion on the lower intermediate shaft of the steering mechanism can cause the shaft to seize. This can lead to a collapsing of the upper intermediate shaft and a separation of the steering column's lower bearing. The car will then be unable to steer, increasing the risk of an accident. Ford has responded by stating that those drivers who have the issue will first feel a "notchy, stiff and binding" feeling in the steering. Usually, Ford says, drivers will then take their cars in for repairs before there is any actual steering loss. The car company reports that no injuries or accidents have been reported to be caused by this issue.

An automobile design defect from a negligent manufacturer can potentially result in serious injury to those driving the affected vehicles. An attorney with experience in cases involving defective products may be able to help recover compensation for these injuries.

Source: LA Times, "Loss of steering in police cars triggers Ford Crown Victoria recall print Comments 1", Jerry Hirsch, September 03, 2013

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