DETROIT, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Ford Motor Co. has recalled 572,795 Focus compacts because of potential safety problems that include engine fires.
The Ford Focus has been plagued by a series of quality problems that have led to 11 recalls since it was introduced in 1999.
A second recall announced Monday involves a bolt in the front suspension that may loosen and cause noise, vibration and separation of the ball joint. The recalls are the 10th and 11th for the popular compact and affect about 572,795 2000 and 2001 model year Focus vehicles.
"We are serious about improving not just the quality of the new Focus, but also the reliability of Focus cars from prior model years," said Sue Cischke, vice president for environmental and safety engineering in a statement.
The engine problem affects vehicles with 4-cylinder Zetec engines in which a misplaced battery cable could melt causing smoke and under-hood fires. Technicians also will inspect the lower control arm of the suspension and tighten or replace the bolt as necessary. The repairs will be made free of charge.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had opened investigations into both safety problems.
Ford also extended a service program on 2000-2001 Focus vehicles in North America with possibly corroded rear bearing seals. Ford recalled Focus vehicles in 21 states and six Canadian provinces to replace damaged seals.
"Although these two concerns are rare occurrences, they could have safety consequences and we want to ensure our customers peace of mind," Cischke said.