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NHTSA 05-98
February 8, 1999 Contact: Tim Hurd

Tel. No. (202) 366-9550


Ford Motor Company

Models: Ford Taurus Years: 1986-1995

Mercury Sable Years: 1986-1995

Lincoln Continental Years: 1988-1994

Number Involved: 2,697,000

Dates of Manufacture:  October 1985 - June 1995

Defect: On vehicles originally sold or currently registered in Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin, the rear lower subframe mount plate nut can experience stress corrosion cracking if subjected to long term exposure to road salt. This can result in fracture and loss of the structural integrity of the subframe mount attachment. Detachment of the body mounts at the rear corner of the subframe, which supports the engine and transmission, allows the rear corners of the subframe to drop. If both rear corners drop, steering would become suddenly very difficult, affecting vehicle control and increasing the risk of a crash.

Remedy: Dealers will install subframe rear mount bolts, reinforcement plates, and plate nuts. Owner notification began January 18, 1999. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673.

[NHTSA Recall No. 98V323/Ford Recall No. 98S36]

NHTSA said it is publicizing the recalls to alert consumers about safety problems and encourages them to take action. Under federal law, safety problems must be remedied without cost to consumers. Currently, 70 percent of the owners of vehicles with safety problems have the recall work performed.

NHTSA said manufacturers are required to mail a recall notice to all purchasers, owners and dealers when a safety defect or noncompliance with federal safety standards is found. The agency urges owners to wait until they receive notification from the manufacturer before contacting their dealers to schedule the repair work. Not all vehicles of a particular make and model may be subject to the recall.