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Loss of steering in police cars triggers recall

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By The Los Angeles Times
Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A mysterious case of police officers losing control of their squad cars has been solved, leading to the recall of 355,000 Ford Crown Victorias — including the Police Interceptor version — Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Cars.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started looking into the problem a year ago upon learning of cases of the steering going out on certain types of police cars.

Severe corrosion can seize the lower intermediate shaft in the steering system of these vehicles, the agency said. That can cause the upper intermediate shaft to collapse and the steering column lower bearing to separate. The car will then lose the ability to steer, risking a crash.

The recall affects cars registered or originally sold in Pennsylvania, 21 other states and the District of Columbia. It includes all Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis and Town Car vehicles from the 2005 through 2011 model years.

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