If you now or previously owned or leased, certain models of Fusion or Focus vehicles manufactured by the Ford Motor Company, your vehicle may suffer from serious defects in its electronic power assisted steering system. You have likely paid more for your vehicle than you would have paid had you been aware of these potential defects, and you may have legal claims against Ford. You should contact an attorney to discuss your rights.
Ford’s Electronic Power Assisted Steering System: Overview
Ford’s electronic power assisted steering system (“EPAS System”) replaces the traditional hydraulic-assist power steering pump and is comprised of a power steering control motor, electronic control unit, torque sensor and steering wheel position sensor. Ford characterizes its EPAS System as an innovation in vehicle safety and touts the efficacy of the EPAS System in its advertising. However, this EPAS System is potentially defective in certain models of Ford vehicles, including Ford Fusion models beginning in 2010 and Ford Focus models beginning in 2012 (the “Affected Vehicles”).
Ford and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) have received hundreds of complaints regarding loss of power steering in the Affected Vehicles. Ford has failed to disclose to consumers that its EPAS System is prone to premature failure during ordinary and foreseeable driving situations. When an EPAS System fails, drivers of the Affected Vehicles can experience markedly increased difficulty and effort in steering, leaving them unable to control their cars, causing crashes and personal injuries in a number of cases.
The Affected Vehicles
If you own or lease, or previously owned or leased, one of the following models and years of Ford-manufactured cars you are or were in possession of an Affected Vehicle:
- 2010-2014 Ford Fusion
- 2010-2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid
- 2013-2014 Ford Fusion Energi
- 2012-2014 Ford Focus
- 2012-2014 Ford Focus Electric
What are the Alleged Defects?
The EPAS System contains numerous alleged defects that render it prone to failure during ordinary and foreseeable driving situations. These include, but are not limited to:
- The conformal coating in the EPAS System is prone to seepage into the System’s ribbon cable, leading to loss of connections within the EPAS System.
- The ribbon cable pins in the EPAS System are often misaligned, which can lead to the breakage of critical wiring and the loss of connections within the EPAS System.
- The contact plating in the EPAS System is prone to corrosion, which can cause an interruption in electrical connections within the EPAS System.
- Sensors in the EPAS System may not function properly, which can lead to a lack of functionality and overall system failure.
- The gear assembly in the EPAS System is potentially defective, which can result in the marked increase in difficulty steering an Affected Vehicle and loss of driver control.
When the EPAS System fails, the Affected Vehicles default to manual steering. This creates an unreasonable safety risk that renders the Affected Vehicles highly susceptible to accidents, particularly when a vehicle is traveling at high speeds or on unlevel terrain, because the driver suddenly is forced to exert great effort in order to control the vehicle.
Ford’s Concealment of the Power Steering Problem in the Affected Vehicles
Ford has been aware of problems with the EPAS System since it was first implemented in the Ford Fusion in 2010. This awareness stems from multiple sources, including its own internal investigation, direct complaints from customers, and hundreds of consumer complaints submitted to NHTSA. Despite its awareness of the pervasive alleged defects underlying the EPAS System and their safety implications, Ford has nonetheless declined to publicly acknowledge the problems and has failed to take adequate and necessary steps to correct them in the Affected Vehicles.
Ford’s knowledge of problems with the EPAS System was revealed in documents submitted during the course of a formal NHTSA investigation into complaints about steering failures in Ford Explorer sport utility vehicles. These vehicles suffer from a similarly problematic EPAS System. NHTSA’s investigation into the Ford Explorer culminated in a recall of this vehicle pursuant to pressure from NHTSA.
Ford did not, however, disclose or address any complaints for other vehicles—including the Affected Vehicles—that are equipped with the allegedly defective EPAS System.
Want to know if you have a valid legal claim against Ford?
If you are a resident of any of the 50 United States and its Territories and now own or lease, or previously owned or leased, any of the above-listed Ford-manufactured vehicles, please contact Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. to discuss your potential claim by submitting the contact form or by calling us at 866-365-8533.