WASHINGTON (Jan. 2, 2003) — Ford Motor Co. has extended the time and scope of its consumer satisfaction program on 2000-2001 Ford Focuses for allegedly faulty rear wheel bearings that may cause wheel separation and loss of control.
This roughly doubles the number of vehicles involved—to 460,200 from 245,000—and also ends a preliminary evaluation of Ford Focuses at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA said it knew of 19,008 incidents involving alleged wheel bearing failures in Ford Focuses, and Ford discovered that the forecasted failure rate for the bearings in “Salt Belt” states ranged between 44 and 82 percent during the first five years.
The auto maker opened the consumer satisfaction program in November 2001, replacing bearings free of charge in Salt Belt states until Jan. 1, 2003. It will now extend the program throughout the U.S. until Jan. 1, 2004.