Last September, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a probe into the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor for a possible problem with the steering assembly.
Now the investigation has been upgraded to a formal engineering analysis, the process that determines whether the American automaker will have to issue a recall. There are an estimated 195,000 affected vehicles, ranging between the 2005-2008 model years. The issue involves a risk of total steering failure when the upper and lower immediate shafts within the steering column separate.
NHTSA is aware of six complaints with 15 total incidents related to the issue. Its own analysis has found a steering failure incident rate of 7.7 per 100,000 vehicles. Ford is conducting tests of its own to determine if a previous accident or maintenance is part of the cause.
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