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Ford recalls Focus diesel over missing shields

Just checking: Ford has recalled its diesel Focus to make sure exhaust shields are fitted.

Ford, Nissan and Lamborghini all issue vehicle recalls to fix safety gremlins

27 May 2010

FORD Australia has issued its second vehicle safety recall this month, this time to check Focus TDCi diesels to make sure a heat shield protecting the fuel tank from the exhaust pipe is fitted.

Last week, Ford recalled some accessory floor mats for Territory after claims that the Ford Genuine Accessory driver’s side floor mats could bunch up in front of the pedals, potentially preventing the accelerator from returning to idle.

Nissan and Lamborghini have also weighed in with recalls, with the Japanese importer issuing an alert for more than 50,000 European-made D40 Navaras and R51 Pathfinders that might suffer bonnet latch damage on rough roads if fitted with heavy steel bull bars or winches.

Lamborghini issued a global recall for its 2006-08 Murcielago, saying a welded support for the fuel pump inside the fuel tank could break, possibly causing a slow petrol leak.

The latest Ford recall concerns the South African-built Focus TDCi fitted with the DW10 diesel engine and made between March 28, 2007, and August 17, 2009.

Some cars sold in other markets were found to be missing the exhaust heat shield after an apparent production problem, and although Ford Australia said it had had no reports of missing exhaust heat shields in this country, it was recalling the 2891 cars that might be affected anyway.

27 center imageFrom top: Nissan D40 Navara, Nissan R51 Pathfinder and Lamborgini Murcielago.

Ford said it had no reports to fires or other major incidents here or overseas as a result of the problem, saying only that the missing shield could lead to “heat-related durability issues”.

Ford is writing to all owners of affected vehicles, asking them to return their car to their dealer to have it checked and, if necessary, rectified. Owners can also contact their Ford dealer or Ford's customer relationship centre on 1800 503 672.

Nissan is still awaiting parts to fix for the bonnet latch problem with its European D40 Navara ute and Pathfinder SUV vehicles, which share a common architecture.

It has asked owners of vehicles fitted with heavy steel bullbars or winches to the front of their vehicles not to drive at more than 90km/h on unsealed roads to minimise the chance of damage to the bonnet latch, which could result in the hood opening unexpectedly.

Nissan says the problem can arise because heavy accessories exceeding 55kg can cause greater vibration in high-speed driving on corrugated roads, damaging the hood latch assembly.

These vibrations and subsequent damage to the assembly can cause the bonnet to become unsecured, possibly opening unexpectedly.

Nissan Australia says it has had 17 reports of latch damage since 2005, almost exclusively on vehicles doing high miles on rough outback roads at high speed. In 12 of those incidents, the bonnet popped open, but there were no reports of serious accidents or injuries.

The fix is an extra latch and uprated front springs to cope with the extra load over the front wheels.

The safety alert only applies to the up-market European-made D40 Navara, not the older D22 workhorse models made in Thailand and still sold alongside the D40. Affected Navaras are in the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) ranges VSKCLAD40A0025460-VSKCLAD40A0366783 and VSKCLND40A0033906-VSKCLND40A0369626.

Pathfinders included in the alert have VINs in the ranges VSKJLWR51A0007409-VSKJLWR51A0366895 and VSKJVWR51A0007459-VSKJVWR51A0365777.

Nissan says that once sufficient counter-measure parts are available, it will write to owners of affected vehicles advising them to contact a Nissan dealer to arrange for an inspection and, where necessary, the rectification.

Lamborghini’s Murcielago recall concerns 19 of the 2006-08 LP640 coupes and roadsters sold in Australia, and follows a global recall by Automobili Lamborghini SpA of Italy which discovered that vehicle vibration and fuel sloshing around in the petrol tank could stress spot welds holding a fuel pump support inside the tank, potentially snapping them.

The company says a slow fuel leak could develop at the broken welds.

If this happens, there is a chance that the owner will smell petrol, and Lamborghini says that if this happens, the owner should not drive the car but contact their dealer to have the vehicle towed in for a new tank to be fitted.

Lamborghini Australia is contacting all owners to have the tanks replaced as a precaution.

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