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Several dozen Ford Fusion owners complained in recent months that their steering wheels had come loose or had come off completely while driving, according to a USA TODAY review of federal records.
The defect triggered a massive Ford recall announced Wednesday. The automaker said it would fix 1.4 million Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans from the 2014 through 2018 model years.
Ford acknowledged that “potentially loose steering wheel bolts” could “result in a steering wheel detaching from the steering column.”
The company said it was aware of at least two accidents and one injury connected to the defect.
But a review of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s defect complaint database reveals more than 45 independent reports of problems in the last few years.
Here are 10 notable complaints by unidentified Fusion owners (complaints have been condensed for space reasons and lightly edited for clarity):
1. Incident report: “While driving on interstate, steering wheel came loose and car veered off interstate. I regained control but steering wheel is still loose. Repairs will cost beyond my means at this moment.”
- Date: Feb. 22, 2018
- Reported: March 13, 2018
- Location: Harriman, Tenn.
2.Incident report: “My 2014 Ford Fusion steering wheel became unstable and I drifted into a manhole in the street. And totaled my car.”
- Date: Sept. 22, 2017
- Reported: Nov. 1, 2017
- Location: Madison, Ala.
3.Incident report: “While entering the vehicle, knee bumped the steering wheel and the steering wheel became detached.”
- Date: March 5, 2018
- Reported: March 6, 2018
- Location: unknown
4. Incident report: “While driving approximately 55 mph, the steering wheel detached from the steering column. Was able to re-attach the steering wheel. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that a bolt screw needed to be replaced.”
- Date: Jan. 15, 2018
- Reported: Jan. 19, 2018
- Location: Cincinnati
5. Incident report: “My steering wheel has become very loose and feels like it’s going to fall off. I have video for proof.”
- Date: Dec. 27, 2017
- Reported: Dec. 29, 2017
- Location: Chatsworth, calif.
6. Incident report: “I was driving in a parking lot in Scranton, Pa., and the steering wheel came so loose that it almost came right off. It scared me to the point where I did not want to drive my car.”
- Date: Dec. 1, 2017
- Reported: Dec. 4, 2017
- Location: Archbald, Pa.
7. Incident report: “While driving, the steering wheel started to loosen. It almost felt like it was going to come off. I was traveling on I-94 from Milwaukee to the Chicago area, so it was flat road, good conditions. I dropped my speed to 55 as I was afraid to go the posted 70 mph with the steering wheel as it was. When I got home I had it towed to the dealer and they said the bolt inside the steering column was loose. They fixed it.”
- Date: Nov. 28, 2017
- Reported: Nov. 29, 2017
- Location: Island Lake, Ill.
8. Incident report: “While driving approximately 55 mph, the steering wheel turned 360 degrees independently without warning. In addition, the steering wheel detached from the vehicle.”
- Date: Nov. 24, 2017
- Reported: Nov. 27, 2017
- Location: Woodbridge, Va.
9. Incident report: “I was driving earlier this year, traveling down the interstate at 70 mph when my steering wheel came completely loose. I was able to get pulled over with no damage, but did have to get it to a dealership to have the steering wheel put back on properly.”
- Date: May 20, 2017
- Reported: Oct. 30, 2017
- Location: Columbia, Tenn.
10. Incident report: “The steering became a little wobbly over the past two weeks and on Saturday while driving to Athens, I went to turn in gas station and the steering wheel fell off in my lap. My insurance agent happened to be riding in the dark when it happened as was my grandson. I have at least six other witnesses.”
- Date: Sept. 23, 2017
- Reported: Sept. 25, 2017
- Location: East Dublin, Ga.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.
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This post was written by All Charts News