UPDATE 2-Ford recalls nearly 1.4 million vehicles in N. America
(Adds Ford U.S. recall figure from 2013, fires in corrosion issue, analyst comment)
By Bernie Woodall
DETROIT May 29 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co said on Thursday it is recalling 1.39 million SUVs and sedans in North America, most for the possible loss of power steering.
About 1.186 million of the vehicles Ford said it is recalling are in the United States. That figure is only 2,200 shy of the total number of vehicles that Ford recalled in the United States during all of last year.
Automakers are giving heightened scrutiny to safety issues in the wake of General Motors Co's ongoing safety crisis that began with an ignition-switch issue in older-model cars.
So far this year, GM has recalled 15.8 million vehicles worldwide.
Analyst Karl Brauer of Kelley Blue Book said Ford's spate of recalls on Thursday may be "driven by the heightened sense of concern all automakers are feeling right now, though we'll likely never know for sure."
Brauer added that there have been so many recalls since February when GM issued its first ignition-switch recall that the actions have become "sort of background white noise for consumers."
Ford said it will recall 195,527 Explorer SUVs in North America from the 2011 to 2013 model years and 915,216 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs from model years 2008 to 2011 on power steering issues. Continued...