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.