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Ford Motor Recalling SUVs, Pickups and Vans

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Ford Motor Co. is recalling about 235,000 pickups, vans and sport utility vehicles from the 2006 model year because of potential problems with the windshield wiper motor. The models include the E-150, E-250, E-350 and E-450 vans, the Escape, Expedition and Explorer SUVs, F-150 and Ranger pickups and Taurus sedan. It also includes the Lincoln Navigator SUV and Lincoln Mark LT pickup and Mercury Mountaineer and Mariner SUV. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a posting on its Web site that the windshield wiper motor may have been made without grease being applied to the shaft gear. After continuous use on the high speed setting, the lack of grease may cause the gear to fracture during operation, leading to a loss of wiper function. The posting said the lack of a working windshield wiper could lead to a crash under poor weather conditions. More than 200,000 vehicles were being recalled in the United States, with about 13,500 in Canada and the remaining affected vehicles in Mexico and Europe. Ford spokeswoman Kristen Kinley said the problem was discovered during vehicle evaluations and there were no reports of consumer complaints. She said the automaker was cooperating with the government. The recall is expected to begin Monday. Dealers will inspect the wiper motor and grease the motor gears if necessary at no cost. Ford said Wednesday it was recalling 220,000 vehicles from the 2005 model year amid concerns a battery cable rubbing against the frame could cause fires and worry that a fuel tank strap could separate after tens of thousands of miles.

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