Over the past several years, Ford Motor Co. has experienced a great deal of success in the midsize automobile and sports utility vehicle markets, thanks to the rising popularity of the Fusion and Escape models, respectively. By 2010, both vehicles were among the 15 most popular automobiles in the U.S., according to sales numbers and statistics. The Fusion especially has risen to global prominence with the upswing in popularity of the midsize sedan, as it represents Ford’s answer to Toyota’s immensely popular Corolla and Camry models. However, with global competition and brand success at stake, Ford’s “focus” should be on manufacturing quality vehicles. Unfortunately, that’s not the case this week.
On Friday, Ford announced the voluntary recall of approximately 89,000 brand new Escape and Fusion models because of a serious manufacturing defect that could lead to engine fires. According to Fox News, models of both vehicles with the 1.6-liter turbocharged engines are at risk of overheating, which could cause engine fluids to leak on other parts and start fires. Obviously, this could be incredibly dangerous to the driver and passengers of any Escape or Fusion vehicle that is being operated at any speeds, as well as to the other vehicles around them.
More concerning, though, isn’t the involvement of the Fusion sedan, but the Escape, because this is the fourth recall this year involving the latest model of the popular SUV. Released in the spring, the 2013 Ford Escape was first recalled on July 2, because incorrectly placed carpet padding on the floor of the driver’s side may have been interfering with the vehicle’s brakes, affecting at least 8,266 models. On July 18, approximately 9,300 Escapes were recalled because of a defective fuel line that posed a serious fire hazard. Then on Sept. 4, Ford recalled an additional 7,600 Escape vehicles because of coolant leaks that also caused engine fires.
Ford has responded to nationwide concerns about the presumed seriousness of four recalls – three of which involve engine fires – by citing the company’s immediate responses as affirmations that it is doing everything necessary with due diligence and urgency. However, consumer concern is clearly warranted, because approximately 73,000 vehicles involved in this new recall are Escapes, and 12 of the 13 fire incidents reported occurred in the SUVs.
Ford officials are urging owners of these vehicles to check the Ford website’s vehicle search
to determine if their vehicles are affected. Additional information is available through Ford by contacting (866) 436-7332.