Ford Motor Co. is facing an intense federal government safety investigation and the potential recall of 653,471 Expedition sport utility vehicles because leaky windshields can cause electrical failures for parts such as headlights and wipers.
The inquiry covers 1999 through 2001 models, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on its Web site. The action is based on consumer complaints to the agency and 1,464 complaints made to Ford itself.
The investigation, which began in June, was raised to an "engineering analysis," the Washington-based agency said. Last June Ford was instructed to turn over numerous internal documents relating to the electrical failure and leaky windshield issues. Seven in 10 investigations that reach that level result in recalls, according to NHTSA figures.
If you've got a leaky SUV windshield, promptly complain to your dealer. Don't wait until you are driving down the road at night and your headlights go out, and then remember that you meant to make that call!