The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation into 814,000 2014-2016 Ford Fusion models over reports that the steering wheel can become detached from the steering column while the car is in motion, according to a document posted to the NHTSA website this week.
There are countless critical systems in your car that you absolutely do not want to fail while you're driving, but the steering wheel has to be near the top of the list. The official investigation comes after three separate Ford Fusion owners reported their steering wheels coming loose during normal driving. In one instance, reported last month, the wheel completely detached from the steering column and fell into the driver's lap.
Fortunately, that latest incident happened as the driver was turning into a gas station, and no accidents or injuries tied to the defect have been reported. The agency will now examine the scope of the problem to determine whether a formal recall needs to be initiated. The company told Reuters in a statement that it's cooperating with investigators, "as we always do."
Ford is in the midst of a spate of recalls involving other models, including 1.3 million 2015-2017 F-150 and Super Duty trucks whose door latches could fail thanks a faulty seal. As Reuters points out, Ford had previously announced plans to spend almost $1 billion on recalls announced since August of 2016.