Among car recalls, Ford is issuing an unusual one: windshield wipers. Specifically, the automaker is recalling some 140,000 new 2012 Ford Focus models due to a defect in the motor that runs the windshield wipers. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration announced the recall on its website.
The problem is in Focus models built between August 2010 and October 2011, and affected vehicles are missing a seal on the wiring harness connector to the passenger side wiper motor. Without the seal, water can build up in the motor connector and stop that windshield wiper from working, which could reduce visibility in rainy weather and increase the risk of an accident. Ford says 140,130 cars are potentially at risk.
"Ford is not aware of any accidents or injuries attributed to this condition," company spokesman Dan Pierce wrote via e-mail.
The Dearborn, Mich., automaker will begin sending out letters to notify affected Focus owners on or around May 21, 2012 . Ford dealers will seal the wiper motor and replace nonfunctioning windshield wipers free of charge. Ford owners can also check if there is an active recall on their vehicles by entering their VIN number at the Ford vehicle owner website: www.owner.ford.com.
In response to the recall, rental car company Avis Budget group temporarily grounded approximately 10,000 Ford Focus models on its rental fleets to temporarily prevent them from being rented in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Customers who may be renting Focus models at the moment can return them at no extra charge, but it isn’t required.