Ford Motor Co. has recalled about 10,500 1977 and 1978 model cars to check for possibly defective tilt-steering columns. And Sears Roebuck & Co. and a manufacturer are recalling about 6,500 electric paint removers because of a potential shock hazard.

A Ford spokesman said the cars involved were built between July 28 and Aug. 12 - the period encompassed the end of the 1977 model run and the start of 1978 model assemblies.

Ford said some of the cars may have been fitted with improper transmission control inserts in the steering column which could result in starting an engine in a drive mode rather than neutral.

The cars will be inspected and the proper transmission control insert installed at no charge to the owners. Ford said that, so car as it knows, there have been no accidents traceable to the steering problem.

Sears and Red Devil, Inc., of Union, N.J., said the paint removers were distributed between June 1 and Oct. 31.

Red Devil said a defect was found in the wiring of the electric paint removers but no injuries have been reported. Affected models are Sears Number 44791 and Red Devil Number 3401.

The Food and Drug Administration said that 21,513 Xytron brand heart pacemakers are being recalled because of a moisture problem that cou'd cause them to shortcircuit and lose power.

The recall already had been announced by the manufacturer, Medtronic of Minneapolis, Minn., on Oct. 27, which said it knows of no patient deaths or injuries caused by premature failure of the pacemakers. The pacemakers are Xytron model numbers 5912, 5913, 5950, 5951, 5954, 5955.