By Jeff Gilbert

DEARBORN (AP/WWJ) – Ford is recalling more than 128,000 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan sedans from the 2010 and 2011 model years because of possible wheel problems.

“The issue that’s involved involves the wheel stud, a clamp load, that potentially could fracture and potentially could cause a wheel separation,” said Ford spokeswoman Susan Krusel.”

A wheel coming off a car would be an extreme case, said Krusel. The most likely scenario is a serious vibration. But if that vibration is ignored, the situation could become more serious.

“We do have a couple of incidents that have been reported,” she said. “But there have been no accidents and no injuries.”

The recall affects only cars with 17-inch steel wheels built from April 1, 2009 through April 30, 2009, and from Dec. 1, 2009 through Nov. 13, 2010.

Federal regulators say that bolts holding the wheels on can fracture, causing a vibration. If the vibration is ignored, the wheels can separate from the car.

Dealers will replace the lug nuts on all four wheels and check the rear disc brake surface. The recall is expected to begin around January. 24.

“We are telling customers that they can still drive their vehicles,” Krusel said. “However if they are concerned, they can both look at their vehicles to make sure the lug nuts are still on, or they certainly can take it to the dealer to be inspected as well.”

The Associated Press and WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert contributed to this story.


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