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Drivers of the 2012 Ford Focus sustained more injuries than those in any other vehicle in the U.S., according to The Safety Institute’s quarterly “Watch List.” The complaints, which are made to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), center on two issues: allegations that the electric power steering shuts down randomly and intermittently, and complaints about delaminating steering wheels that lacerate drivers’ hands. Currently there are no investigations by NHTSA into either issue. The list is compiled using death and injury claims filed to NHTSA’s Early Warning Reports System. The system is one of the tools the agency is supposed to use to discover potential problems with vehicles.
“The Safety Institute’s Vehicle Safety Watch List provides an opportunity for regulators and manufacturers to examine unusual patterns of claims and resolve them before they become major crises” said Sean Kane, founder and president of the board of directors of The Safety Institute. The next two top claims involved the service brakes of the 2011 and 2012 Chevy Cruze. In August 2013, General Motors recalled 293,000 2011 and 2012 Cruzes for intermittent loss of the brake assist. Despite the recall, some owners are still experiencing problems, which the institute suggests means the recall repair wasn’t done properly.