Autos: Living with Recalls

FORD RECALLING ALL COUGAR CARS.

As recently as a few months ago, any U.S. automaker would have cringed at the very thought of that kind of headline. No effort would have been spared to keep the news from the general public. But last week's disclosure that Ford's Lincoln-Mercury division was calling back 85,000 Cougars to correct possible defects was not ferreted out by any prying reporter. Ford sent out the news itself; the company actually seemed anxious to get the word around.

Not that recalls themselves are any thing new. For years, Detroit has been calling back cars to correct belatedly...

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