Claims of Ford Fusion steering-wheel problem prompts federal safety investigation

In at least one case, driver said the steering wheel came completely off.

— -- U.S. auto-safety regulators have launched an investigation after receiving three reports claiming that a steering-wheel fastening bolt became loose in some models of the Ford Fusion, including in at least one case where the wheel allegedly detached completely from the car's steering column.

The three reports were in regard to Ford Fusion models from 2014, 2015 and 2016, which could potentially include up to about 841,000 vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is conducting the probe.

One complaint on the highway-safety administration's website said the driver of a 2015 Ford Fusion was turning into a gas station when the vehicle's steering wheel came completely off and fell into the driver's lap.

The 2015 Ford Fusion received a five out of five-star overall safety rating from the highway-safety agency.

The highway-safety administration has opened a "preliminary evaluation" and says it will be investigating the scope, frequency and danger of the alleged defect.

No recall has been issued.

In a statement on Friday, Ford advised concerned customers to contact their local dealer. "We are cooperating with the agency, as we always do," the statement said.