Ford recalls 370,000 cars to check steering shafts

Ford is recalling 370,000 cars due to potential corrosion to their steering shaft that may result in loss of steering.

No incidents or injuries have been reported.

The cars include 2005 to 2011 Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Cars. About 355,000 are in the U.S. and 15,000 in Canada.

Dealers will inspect the cars and may replace the lower intermediate steering shaft and if necessary resecure a lower steering column bearing and replace the upper intermediate steering shaft.

Maine is among the states included in the recall.

Price of crude oil drops as attack seems less likely

The price of oil fell below $107 a barrel Monday as the likelihood of an imminent U.S. attack against Syria diminished.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for October delivery was down 82 cents to $106.83 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, the contract fell $1.15 to close at $107.65.

Trading volumes were limited Monday as floor trading on the Nymex was closed because of Labor Day. As a result, the benchmark contract was volatile, swinging within a wide range of more than $3, between $104.21 and $107.31.

Safety regulators eye some Nissan transmissions

U.S. auto-safety regulators are investigating complaints that transmission cooler lines can leak fluid in some 2013 Nissan Pathfinders and Infiniti JX models, leading to a sudden loss of transmission power.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has received reports of problems from five owners of Pathfinders. No injuries have been reported. The probe covers an estimated 110,000 cars.

The NHTSA has begun an evaluation to assess the size and safety-related consequences of the issue. Such probes can often lead to recalls.

Nissan said it has received a request for information from the NHTSA stemming from the reports of leaks.

Spokesman Steve Yaeger said the company is working with the agency to address questions.

In addition, he said a repair procedure has already been developed for use by authorized Nissan and Infiniti dealers for vehicles that have the problem.

Social media network set to link law enforcers

The final stages are near completion for the launch of a law enforcement social media network designed exclusively for the men and women in blue.

Created by former high-profile New York City police commissioner and Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Bratton, BlueLine is being touted as a site where officers can share their expertise, insight and information securely through video, instant messaging, videoconferencing and screen share capabilities.

The network is scheduled to go live at the International Association of Police Chiefs’ annual conference in Philadelphia in late October, Bratton said.

Regarded as an international expert on reducing crime, combating gang violence and improving police-community relations, Bratton said there’s been a longstanding belief that federal, state and local agencies work closely, especially since the Sept. 11 attacks.

That’s not entirely true, Bratton said, adding that he hopes BlueLine will be another tool to help bridge the gap.

Those who join will be accredited members of law enforcement. They also will be able to create databases, have PowerPoint meetings and search for other members via name, topics and interests.

“This is a big void that needed to be filled,” Bratton said.

– From news service reports