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Ford Recalls Nearly 2 Million Cars and Trucks

July 17, 1989

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) _ Nearly 2 million Ford Motor Co. cars and light trucks were recalled Monday because of problems with emissions systems and the possibility of engine fires.

The nation’s No. 2 automaker said owners of 296,000 1984 Ford Escort and EXP and Mercury Lynx automobiles were being notified that cracks in their cars’ cylinder heads could leak oil onto exhaust manifolds.

Also, owners of 222,000 1985 1/2 model Escort and Lynx cars were being told that a rocker-cover gasket, also called a valve gasket, could leak allowing oil to drip on the manifolds.

Both conditions could cause engine fires, the company said.

The 1985 1/2 Escort and Lynx vehicles were introduced late in the model year. Ford did not designate any Escort or Lynx cars as 1985 models.

Ford spokesman Michael Parris said the company received two reports of hand burns, most likely sustained when the owner was putting out the fire. He did not know the severity of the injuries or have an estimate on how many engine fires were caused by either problem.

Another safety recall involved about 28,000 1989 Ford Ranger and Bronco II four-wheel-drive vehicles with automatic locking front-wheel hubs. The company said some of the vehicles may have been built without a locking key in the left front hubs, which could cause the left front wheel to fall off.

The company also said it was recalling about 1.4 million 1985-87 cars to correct a problem with their emissions control systems.

The problem stems from the fuel injectors, engine control modules or catalysts.

Included in the recall are 1985-87 Ford Tempo and Mercury Topaz cars with 2.3-liter and 2.3-liter high output engines, 1986-87 Ford Taurus and Sable cars with 2.5-liter engines and 1987 Ford Escort, Mercury Lynx and Ford EXP vehicles with 1.0-liter engines.

The company said testing by Ford and the California Air Resources Board showed that hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions passed acceptable limits.

Ford said the emissions recall would be phased in because of the number of vehicles involved. Notifications would be sent first to owners in California.

Inspection and repairs in all of the recalls would be performed at no cost to the customer.

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