The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating certain 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan models for a possible wheel-stud failure. According to Reuters, a total of 317,315 of the mid-sized sedans are being investigated for a default that causes the vehicles' wheel studs to fracture and break over time. This can cause a wheel to detach itself, potentially leading to a serious accident. So far, there have been 29 complaints and 128 warranty claims associated with fractured studs, according to NHTSA, as well as four instances of a wheel actually separating from the vehicle.

Ford, meanwhile, is investigating the root cause of the defect at this time while NHTSA upgrades its efforts from a preliminary investigation to an engineering analysis. A recall could result should the manufacturer or government regulators decide that the issue is widespread. NHTSA opened its preliminary investigation into the matter six months ago. The Fusion and Milan twins have were previously investigated for sticking accelerator pedals.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      merlot066
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why did you have to bring up a previous investigation that didn't end in a recall (see the last sentence)? Aside from that, that last sentence wasn't even proofread.
      1guyin10
      • 3 Years Ago
      The good news is that there are five lugs per wheel and all would have to break before the wheel comes off. The bad news is that all of them are probably out of the same lot. I doubt those wheel studs came from Mexico. China or India is more likely. They could have even come from the US.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        mikey683
        • 3 Years Ago
        Let's also not forget Ford's decision that it was cheaper to have a few lawsuits than to fix the gas tank on the 1971 pinto. This caused the car to burst into flames and incinerate anyone in it.
          merlot066
          • 3 Years Ago
          @mikey683
          Yes, I'm sure the same logic was employed when Ford chose the wheel-studs for the Fusion /s Maybe we should wait and see if Ford of the NHTSA finds an actual problem, or if it's just a bunch of morons that don't know how to change tires (like AAA destroying the wheel bolts on my dad's Explorer because they didn't tighten them enough when they changed a flat for him)
      kevsflanagan
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have a slight feeling its due to moron tech's torquing down the lug nuts using air guns to the gods knows what kinda foot pounds. Torque Sticks FTW! Or torque wrenches.
        KaiserWilhelm
        • 3 Years Ago
        @kevsflanagan
        Most likely tha'ts the case. An unlikely but possible scenario is that these studs might not have been properly heat treated and are softer than they are supposed to be.
          1guyin10
          • 3 Years Ago
          @KaiserWilhelm
          Depends on what the failure mode is. Too hard will sometimes result in a fatigue failure after it has been torqued down a couple of times. Too soft normally results in a simple overload failure. If the lube used to draw the wire isn't cleaned off before heat treatment it can lead to decarburization that can then lead to fatigue failure. There are a number of other issues that could also cause or contribute, none of which are helped by the typical tire shop torquing things to a bajillion ft/lbs.
          kevsflanagan
          • 3 Years Ago
          @KaiserWilhelm
          I'd be willing to bet its a combo of both.
        BG
        • 3 Years Ago
        @kevsflanagan
        But any manufacturer selling in the United States knows that the typical buyer will take the car to a mass-market tire chain where the monkeys will use an air wrench and won't use a torque wrench. They should assume the worst, especially for cars like these that sell to a general audience.
      boomchakalaka
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mexican quality. Enjoy your NAFTA, Americans!
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Dan
      • 3 Years Ago
      They're being investigated for a default? I'd think maybe for a fault, or a defect....
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