*Woodward & Lothrop department stores are recalling a children's bath toy because it could cause choking in young children, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced.

"Soft Bath Blocks," made of a dense foam material, are being recalled because young children may bite off pieces large enough to lodge in their throats, causing them to choke or suffocate, the commission reported.

In the Washington area, only Woodward & Lothrop stores are known to have sold the blocks, according to the commission, which said the toys had not been linked to any known injuries.

Sold in 20-piece sets that come in various shapes and colors, the blocks were advertised as a bathtime toy that children can use to build towers and boats that float. They sold in stores beginning in August for about $10.

Consumers should return the blocks to the retailer for a refund or call the commission at 800-638-CPSC.

*About 42,000 1986-model Ford Aerostars are being recalled to correct an underbody welding defect that could affect the minivans' steering, Ford Motor Co. has announced.

Tests show that substandard welds may separate, resulting in a reduction in steering response, Ford said in announcing the recall last week.

No accidents or injuries have been reported as a result of the problem, according to the company.

Ford said 12,000 of the vehicles are still at dealerships and 30,000 have been purchased by consumers.

When a weld separates, drivers typically hear a clunking or rattling noise at the rear of the vehicle, the company said.

Ford said it will reinforce the welds at no cost to car owners and will loan vehicles when the minivans are kept overnight.