The gear shift fell off in my hand (lucky I was in the driveway) because a 1 inch soft aluminum cylinder sheared. Ford tells me it will be $1400 plus labor for a new steering column. The explorerforum indicates this is a common problem and a Sweden has made the part in heavy duty aluminum for under $80 Junk yard steering colums are $150-200 for the same piece of soft aluminum. What do you think about the part solution and why doesn’t Ford recall all these vehicles.
I don’t know where you are, but I see several complete columns listed on http://www.car-part.com for under $100 for some models or Exploder. That will be your cheapest way out. Check it out. You may also get several other valuable parts to keep in reserve like the clock spring and turn signal switch.
Ford doesn’t recall them because they don’t have to.