Ford recalls big vans; cracked coupling can cause power loss

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TROY, MI - NOVEMBER 3: A Ford Motor Company sign stands at a Ford dealership November 3, 2008 in Troy, Michigan. Ford reported its October sales were down thirty percent from the same month last year, and General Motors reported a forty-five percent decline for October. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford is recalling more than 400,000 Transit vans and buses to fix cracked drive shaft couplings that can cause the vehicles to lose power.

The company says the recall covers North American vans, buses and chassis cabs with medium, long and extended wheelbases from 2015 to 2017.

The coupling can separate from the drive shaft, causing loss of power or unintended movement when shifted into park. It also can damage surrounding parts including brake and fuel lines.

The company says it’s not aware of any crashes or injuries from the problem.

Ford says in a statement Wednesday that its data show the couplings won’t deteriorate enough to cause separation in vehicles with fewer than 30,000 miles. So drivers should schedule an appointment to get the coupling replaced after the vans hit that threshold. The company is still developing a permanent fix, and until that happens, drivers should have the couplings replaced every 30,000 miles.

“We are working quickly to make it available as soon as we can,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Weigandt said.

Owners will be notified by mail and will get another letter once the permanent repair is available.

Ford says in a regulatory filing that the recall will cost the company $142 million.