There may be more steering woes for the Ford Crown Victoria. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a preliminary evaluation into the Crown Vic and Mercury Grand Marquis from the 2004 to 2007 model years and the Mercury Marauder for the 2004 and 2005 model years because the steering shaft can jam. The issue could potentially affect an estimated 500,000 vehicles.

According to the regulator, there is a possibility that the driver's side heat shield for the exhaust manifold can rust, dislodge, and then wedge into the steering shaft. If this occurs, it leads to a situation where the driver can no longer control the car.

NHTSA has received five complaints of this happening, including one alleged case with an injury. In that situation, the car was driving onto the highway, lost control and rolled over. One occupant was hurt in the accident.

This isn't the first case of potential steering issues with the Crown Vic. Ford recalled 370,000 of them in 2013 in fix some components because of possible corrosion. NHTSA also investigated some police models for issues with the steering shaft.

A Ford spokesperson told Autoblog via email: "We are cooperating with NHTSA on this investigation, as we always do." It has no further information about the evaluation at this time. Scroll down to read the entire NHTSA report.
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INVESTIGATION Subject : Steering Column Shaft Obstruction

Date Investigation Opened: JUL 07, 2014
Date Investigation Closed: Open
NHTSA Action Number: PE14021
Component(s): ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING , STEERING
All Products Associated with this Investigation
Vehicle Make Model Model Year(s)
FORD CROWN VICTORIA 2004-2007
MERCURY GRAND MARQUIS 2004-2007
MERCURY MARAUDER 2004-2005

Details
Manufacturer: Ford Motor Company

SUMMARY:The Office of Defects Investigation has received five complaints alleging incidents of steering shaft obstruction caused by interference from a dislodged heat shield. The complaints indicated that the driver's side exhaust manifold shield can dislodge due to corrosion of the attachment bolts and become jammed between the manifold and steering shaft preventing the steering from turning or requiring excessive force to overcome the interference. In one incident (VOQ 10578715), the steering allegedly locked up on a highway entrance ramp, causing a rollover crash and injury. The complaint indicated that the heat shield was discovered to be dislodged after the crash, with witness marks from the alleged obstruction between the steering shaft and engine block. A preliminary evaluation has been opened to assess the frequency, scope and safety consequences of the alleged defect. VOQs associated with this investigation are: 10317493, 10471833, 10479681, 10545112, 10578715

ODI RESUME

Investigation: PE 14-021
Date Opened: 07/07/2014
Investigator: Chris Lash
Reviewer: Jeff Quandt
Approver: Frank Borris
Subject: Steering Column Shaft Obstruction

MANUFACTURER & PRODUCT INFORMATION
Manufacturer: Ford Motor Company
Products: MY 2004 to 2007 Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis, Marauder
Population: 500,000 (Estimated)
Problem Description: The drivers side exhaust manifold heat shield can rust and become dislodged, potentially jamming the steering shaft.

FAILURE REPORT SUMMARY

ODI

Manufacturer

Total

Complaints:

5

TBD

TBD

Crashes/Fires:

1

TBD

TBD

Injury Incidents:

1

TBD

TBD

Number of Injuries:

1

TBD

TBD

Fatality Incidents:

0

TBD

TBD

Number of Fatalities:

0

TBD

TBD

Other*:

0

Confidential

Confidential

*Description of Other: EWR field report data


ACTION / SUMMARY INFORMATION
Action: A preliminary evaluation has been opened.

Summary:
The Office of Defects Investigation has received five complaints alleging incidents of steering shaft obstruction caused by interference from a dislodged heat shield. The complaints indicated that the driver's side exhaust manifold shield can dislodge due to corrosion of the attachment bolts and become jammed between the manifold and steering shaft preventing the steering from turning or requiring excessive force to overcome the interference. In one incident (VOQ 10578715), the steering allegedly locked up on a highway entrance ramp, causing a rollover crash and injury. The complaint indicated that the heat shield was discovered to be dislodged after the crash, with witness marks from the alleged obstruction between the steering shaft and engine block.

A preliminary evaluation has been opened to assess the frequency, scope and safety consequences of the alleged defect.
VOQs associated with this investigation are: 10317493, 10471833, 10479681, 10545112, 10578715


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  • 15 Comments
      Dwight Bynum Jr.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Mercury Marauder. Speaking of vehicles whose existence I COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT until now! :D
      Willy
      • 5 Months Ago
      With the vague steering feel, no one will notice it. Carry on!
      mary.keana
      • 5 Months Ago
      how would you even know the steering was out, driving this is like rowing a canoe on top of a frozen lake.
      Travis C. Vasconcelo
      • 5 Months Ago
      Seeing that Marauder picture reminded me just how much I lusted after those cars...particularly in black!
        johnb
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Travis C. Vasconcelo
        same here, wouldn't mind having one.
      Cruising
      • 5 Months Ago
      The Marauder was like the evil version of the Crown Vic, awesome. It's unfortunate some people own Marauders don't even realize they have, so few were made.
      bob
      • 5 Months Ago
      Is it just me or are there too many recalls?
      tom.tommarello
      • 5 Months Ago
      Latest Recall affecting all vehicles with antennas and steering. The antenna can potentially fail from corrosion and fall under the vehicle nicking a power steering line and/or lodging in the steering shaft linkage causing increased steering effort which lead to a driver loosing control of the vehicle. Models affected include model years 1920-2014. Approximately 4 billion cars are affected. /sarcasm
      Natalie White
      • 5 Months Ago
      Ford must be on crack if they don't even know what years they made the Marauder for... are we even sure this is real? >.<
      Bassracerx
      • 5 Months Ago
      this happens from a very small drain plug looking thing in the rack and pinionthat wears out and causes a massive leak that will cause the power steering system to very quickly evacuate all of the fluid thus rendering the steering wheel next to useless. this was a relatively easy fix you have to replace a hose and this metal piece that i cant describe exactly what it is called i had to take it to the dealer and have them look at it to figure out what part it was so they could order it for us. . I remember this fondly because there was TWO mercury grand marquis one 05 and one 06 who had the exact same issue and they needed the exact same fix i remember it being something like 300 dollars for the few small parts and then needed a power steering flush and of course the labor. i heard that this is very uncommon on these vehicles to fail (usually the whole rack and pinion will wearout before this metal piece will) however it CAN happen and we had two come in on the same day it was eerie. Keep us posted on what the result of this "probe is" AP
      thumerzs
      • 5 Months Ago
      I've got a 2003 with the same steering shaft issue as the 05's, but it wasn't recalled. Guess they figure it's old enough now that I don't need to be able to steer.
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