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Ford Recalls 171,000 Defective Vehicles

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CHICAGO - Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday it has voluntarily recalled about 171,000 of 2003 and 2004 model vehicles for a variety of defects.

The largest group includes 92,000 of 2003 F-Series Super Duty pickup trucks and Excursion sport utility vehicles, spokesman Glenn Ray said.

He said there may be a problem with the battery ground connection to the engine block on models with six-liter diesel engines. In the worst case, he said, a smoldering fire could result from a loose ground connection. He said there have been 35 reports of alleged fires related to the problem, but no accidents or injuries.

Separately, Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford has recalled 53,500 of 2003 model Crown Victorias and Lincoln Towncars. "These are fleet cars only," Ray said, mainly used as taxis or limousines. He said a fracture may develop on the rear axle shaft, resulting in a loss of power for the real wheel drive vehicles. No accidents or injuries have been reported related to the defect, Ray said.

Ford also has recalled 25,800 of 2004-model Ford Taurus, Thunderbird and Mercury Sable vehicles due to defective welding on the frame of the power front seat. The car seats may become loose and squeak or rattle, Ray said.

He said no injuries or accidents have been reported related to the seat frame welding problem.

Ray said customers will receive notification letters later this month and can contact their Ford dealer or the company with questions, at 800-392-3673.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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