Recall: Steel Wheels on Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan May Separate

Ford has issued a recall on Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan sedans following an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA received complaints from owners of models equipped with 17-inch steel wheels.

The Problem: Affected cars and wheels are subject to wheel stud fractures that may cause wheel vibrations. Additionally, the wheels may separate and cause the vehicle to crash.

The Fix: Ford has scheduled to start the recall on January 24, 2012. Dealers will inspect the wheel and rear brake disc and will replace all lug nuts. Customers can call Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332.

Number of Vehicles Affected: 128,616 vehicles with 17-inch steel wheels produced from April 1, 2009 to April 30, 2009 and from December 1, 2009 to November 13, 2010.

Source: NHTSA

Joe Skeptical
What does "may separate" mean? The wheels might a) come off the car b) break, fracture, split into pieces c) get divorced? Is Ford giving the wheels permission so they "may separate"? What is a wheel stud fracture? Does that mean the threaded bolt extending from the hub onto which the lug nut is tightened? How about this Ford? Hub bolts or threaded studs (a stud isn't usually threaded; a bolt is) can crack, causing vibration or detachment of the wheel, which means its falls off.

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