Last minute recalls for 2010

In a year that has seen more than 19 million recalls, the highest total since 2004, it makes perfect sense that the last day of the year would have several automakers throwing in some last minute safety notices.

Ford issued a minor recall this morning for issues with the new 2011 models of the Ford Edge, Ford F-150 and Lincoln MKX. Turns out that particular versions of these models have an issue with the body control module, which affects the car's electrical system. If these models were to short circuit, the entire electrical system could potentially overheat and cause a fire, according to the company. The recall is pretty small, with less than 15,000 vehicles affected, but the consequences could be disastrous.

Meanwhile, Chrysler's problems affect nearly 150,000 new and used vehicles in total, although they're not quite as serious. A problem with the rear axle on the Ram 1500 requires an extra 20 ounces of lube to be added, which drivers can do either on their own or for free at the dealer. On the Ram 4500 and 5500, a side ball stud on the tie rod could possibly fracture, requiring a replacement to be installed. Finally, the 2009 Dodge Journey has a problem with door-mounted wiring that could ultimately lead to the disabling of the side-impact sensor. That means side-curtain airbags may not deploy in a crash, increasing the risk of injury.