Ford has been forced to recall almost 129,000 vehicles, after discovering that the wheels on certain 2010-2011 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan cars could fall off. The issue, Ford told [pdf link] the Nation Highway Traffic Safety Administration, was spotted when lug-nut tightening was found to cause fracturing; if the drivers ignored the subsequent vibration warning signs, the wheels themselves could potentially detach from car.
According to Ford, the problem only affects Fusion and Milan cars with 17-inch steel wheels, not those with alloy wheels. Nonetheless, that's 128,616 vehicles in all, along with a further 3,000 steel wheel sets distributed to Ford dealers.
"Owners will be notified by mail and instructed to take their vehicles to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to have the lug nuts replaced on all four wheels" Ford told the agency, "and to have the rear brake discs inspected for wheel mounting surface flatness and replaced, if required." A comprehensive investigation into the problem has been undertaken by the company, it continued.
Ford claims there is no record, as of the end of September, of any accidents resulting from the problem. If you have one of the affected vehicles, you should contact your dealer.