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Ford Australia has issued a recall notice for its small Focus car this week, over concerns that a mechanical defect could rob the front wheels of power.

The fault, affecting 4277 vehicles built between May 21 2013 and January 24 2014, centres around the halfshafts that drive the front wheels.

Ford reports that the shafts in the small Focus “may not meet specification”, potentially causing a failure when accelerating from a standing start.

If a fault occurs, the vehicle will be rendered immobile, which could pose a hazard to the occupants and other road users.

Affected owners will be contacted by mail to arrange replacement, and Ford advises that until the recall is complete, owners should “avoid aggressive acceleration on take-off”.

The recall forms part of a wider “service program” for 10,000 vehicles, with the remaining number already reviewed and/or repaired in recent months.

Concerned owners can contact Ford’s Customer Relationship Centre on 1800 503 672.