Ford is recalling 1.4 million sedans across North America because the bolt that holds the steering wheel to the steering column can become loose over time and allow the wheel detach itself while the vehicles are being driven.
Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ cars from the 2014-2018 model years are covered by the safety action, with 1.3 million of them located in the United States.
Two crashes and one injury have been linked to the issue. Affected owners will be officially notified during the last week of April when parts to fix the cars are scheduled to be available. Ford hasn’t told owners not to drive their vehicles in the meantime.
The recall comes about five months after the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into steering wheels falling off of Fusions from the 2014 through 2016 model years.
The safety agency said in documents that it began the probe after receiving three complaints, including one from a driver from Georgia who reported that the steering wheel in a 2015 Fusion fell into their lap when turning into a gas station.
Two other people reported that the bolt attaching the wheel to the steering column came loose while driving and had to be retightened at a repair shop. At the time the agency had no reports of crashes or injuries.
Ford isn't the only manufacturer to issue a recall for steering wheels coming off. In February, Hyundai recalled 43,900 vehicles which were at risk of the steering wheel breaking away from the steering column. That recall affected the 2018 Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport SUVs.
The Associated Press contributed to this report