Ford Announces Two More Recalls Involving Focus Subcompact

DEARBORN, Mich. November 4, 2002; Reuters reported that Ford Motor Co. announced two voluntary safety recalls on the Ford Focus that affect about 572,795 vehicles from the 2000 and 2001 model years.

The subcompact has been recalled eight previous times since its debut two years ago, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has six different ongoing investigations regarding the Focus.

One of the recalls announced Monday involves a bolt in the front-suspension assembly that may be loose and cause noise, vibration or -- in a small number of cases -- separation of the ball joint, Ford said in a statement.

The other recall involves Focus vehicles with Zetec engines in which potential problems with battery-cable routing could result in smoke, wire melting or an underhood fire.

Ford will notify customers through the mail to bring their vehicles to a Ford or Lincoln Mercury dealer for no-cost repairs.

"We are serious about improving not just the quality of the new Focus, but also the reliability of Focus cars from prior model years," said Sue Cischke, vice president for environmental and safety engineering, in a statement. " Although these two concerns are rare occurrences, they could have safety consequences and we want to ensure our customers' peace-of-mind."

A Ford spokesman said regarding the front-suspension assembly, there were 36 claims potentially related to this issue. As for the Zetec engines, there were 334 reports of some kind of battery-check engine light or heat-related damage issue. It hasn't been determined if the incidences are related, the spokesman said, adding there were no reports of injuries or accidents.

For the front-suspension problem, technicians will inspect the lower-control- arm hardware and tighten, or replace, the affected bolt as necessary. The battery-cable repair involves inspecting and re-routing of cables and replacement of the cables, if necessary.

Ford added it that owners of 2000 and 2001 Focuses that weren't part of an earlier recall involving 21 states in the northern U.S. and Canada should get their rear-wheel bearing seal replaced. The original recall involved areas where corrosion could be an issue.

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