It seems this is the first major recall of the year, and it comes from the Ford Motor Company. Ford is recalling 450,426 vehicles consisting of three different models for two separate reasons which they announced all together this morning.
205,896 model year 2004-2005 Ford Freestars and Mercury Montereys are being brought in by Ford because of a weak torque converter output shaft which is at risk of failing. If this shaft is compromised the driver of the vehicle will experience a sudden loss of all drive power with no warning. This recall is expected to begin the second calendar quarter of 2012.
Along with the Minivans, 244,530 Ford Escapes are being recalled thanks to a brake master cylinder cap which is at risk of leaking brake fluid. If the brake fluid leaks it would cover the ABS module wiring harness connector which could result in corrosion of the electrical connection, and eventually melting, smoke, and fire. This recall affects model year 2001-2002 Escapes that were built between October 22, 1999,through July 19, 2002, and is expected to begin on January,23rd 2012. However Ford has also said that there may be a parts shortage for this particular cap at dealers, so while owners will be contacted soon, they may have to leave their vehicles with Ford for an extended period of time before the problem can be remedied.