Ford and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have issued recalls for several vehicles, the Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterery minivans, plus the Ford Escape SUV. 2004-2005 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey

The Problem: The torque converter output shaft on these vehicles’ automatic transmissions could fail. If so, the vehicle would suddenly lose driving ability without warning, possibly causing a crash. Ford and NHTSA have received 227 reports of this issue from owners.

The Fix: Ford will notify owners of the problem and replace the cars’ torque converter for free. Owners who have previously paid for the repair themselves may be reimbursed by Ford. Ford doesn’t expect to have the necessary parts to complete all the recall repairs until the second half of this year.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 205,896 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans 2001-2002 Ford Escape

The Problem: Models equipped with ABS may leak brake fluid from the brake master-cylinder cap. If so, the fluid could cause corrosion in the ABS wiring harness, potentially causing a short circuit and fire. In 2007, Mazda recalled the mechanically similar 2001-2004 Mazda Tribute for the same issue.

The Fix: Ford will replace the master cylinder cap and modify the ABS wiring harness for free. However, Ford doesn’t expect to have all the necessary parts available when recall notifications are mailed to owners starting January 23. As a result, Ford may ask owners to park their vehicles and not drive them until the recall can be completed at a later date.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 244,530 Ford Escape SUVs

Source: NHTSA