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Ford Says It Is Recalling 573,000 Focus Cars

Potential problems in '00 and '01 vehicles include a loose bolt and engine fires.

November 05, 2002|From Reuters

Ford Motor Co. said Monday that it was recalling about 573,000 of its compact Focus vehicles in North America from the 2000 and 2001 model years because of potential safety problems such as engine fires.

The Focus has suffered quality problems since its introduction in 1999. Ford, which is implementing a wrenching turnaround plan after losing $5.45 billion last year, now has issued 11 safety recalls for the vehicle.

The world's No. 2 automaker said the latest recalls stemmed from two separate issues that could have safety consequences.

One involves a bolt in the front suspension assembly that can become loose and cause noise and vibration or, in a small number of cases, lead to a separation of the ball joint.

Ford said the other concern involved Focus vehicles with Zetec engines in which potential problems with the placement of a battery cable could result in smoke, wire melting or under-hood fires.

A company spokesman said there had been no reports of injuries stemming from either of the potential defects in the recalled vehicles, but two accidents are alleged to have been caused by loose or missing front suspension bolts.

Ford also said it was extending a service program on 2000 and 2001 Focus vehicles in North America because of concerns about a rear-wheel bearing seal.

An earlier service program involved vehicle owners in 21 U.S. states. But Ford said North American customers outside those original areas, including owners in Canada, now would be encouraged to bring their cars to dealerships to have the seal replaced.

Ford shares, which are trading well off a 52-week high of $19.08, closed up 13 cents at $8.56 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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