This is a good example of how easily a very subtle design oversight can be hazardous. Clearly, a thorough design review process of safety-critical components, such as a Design Failure Mode Effects Analysis, and a responsive recall program for items missed, is important to keep risk as low as reasonably possible.
In this video you can see the rubber was deteriorated. The inside of the steel saddle developed less rust because the power steering pump or hoses had leaked onto that component for many years. The upgraded galvanized back-up washer was not installed on his car. If the power steering fluid leak was fixed, this car would be prone to corrosion failure in roughly five more years.
I have had other cars with corrosion failure points -- including a Chevrolet Corvair that had corrosion failure in the front suspension hollow box cross-frame member. The Taurus was more insidious because the issue was not visible on inspection until it completely failed. Other frames often start to crack, crush, or show holes before they totally fail.
This entry was submitted by David T. Humphrey and edited by Rob Spiegel
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