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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Ford Motor Co. is recalling 899,060 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable sedans in cold weather states because salt from the roads could corrode and fracture the cars' front coil springs, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday.
The recall involves sedans from the 1999, 2000 and 2001 model years. Ford spokeswoman Francine Romine said there have been no reports of deaths or injuries due to the defect.
Should a coil spring fracture, it could rupture a tire and cause an accident. Ford will put protective shields in the recalled vehicles at no cost to owners.
NHTSA opened an investigation into the defect in May after receiving 82 reports that springs had broken on those models. The agency had investigated the problem before but closed the investigation because of a lack of consumer complaints.
The recall will begin next month in midwestern and eastern states and the District of Columbia.
Safety advocates have criticized regional recalls, saying companies don't know where owners are driving their vehicles. Romine said the company is aware of those misgivings but believes targeting vehicles in cold weather states is the most appropriate action.
Ford Motor Co., http://www.ford.com (Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)