WASHINGTON (AP) – Ford Motor Co. is recalling about 145,000 vehicles to fix defective latches that could let in water and drivetrains that could fracture, the automaker said Wednesday.

Ford is recalling 139,537 2005 Five Hundred and Mercury Montego sedans and 2005-06 Freestyle crossover vehicles either sold or registered in 31 cold-weather states. The automaker said the side-door latch could allow water intrusion, which could cause the latch to freeze in cold conditions and allow the door to open in traffic.

The affected states include: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

There have been no accidents or injuries connected to the issue. Owners in the remaining 19 states will be notified of the condition and also will be able to have the latches fixed at no charge, Ford spokeswoman Kristen Kinley said.

In a separate action, Ford is recalling 6,164 2006 front-wheel drive Escape hybrid SUVs to fix a drivetrain shaft. Ford said the shaft could fracture and prevent the powertrain from transmitting power to the wheels and allow the vehicle to move when in the park position.

There have been no reports of crashes or injuries.

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AP-ES-10-11-06 1208EDT

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