The U.S. auto industry is seeing innumerable set of recalls from its Detroit automakers. This time it’s the second largest U.S. automaker Ford Motor (NYSE:F) that has got engaged in another round of recalls. The company announced on Friday that it has recalled around 160,000 Focus ST sedans and Escape crossovers as these models have been identified of having a wiring problem.
The carmaker said that the two cars from model years 2013-2014 have been recognized with this issue that could have an adverse effect on the engine. The wiring problem could make the car engine lose power or stop running altogether. As of date Ford has not heard of any injuries or crashes reported by anyone with respect to this latent defect.
The company has not disclosed the number of cars that have been recalled for individual models, but says that the issue would be fixed by the respective car dealers for free. Of the total recalls, around 133,000 are in the U.S. while the remaining are in Canada and Mexico. This is the 11th time that the company has recalled the 2013 Escape model. The crossover is one of the top selling models of Ford.
2013 Escape, Photo courtesy – ford.com
In the recent past
The Detroit automaker had very recently declared a recall of 83,250 vehicles that was related to 2012-2014 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX vehicles. This also included Lincoln MKS, Lincoln MKT, Ford Flex, and Ford Taurus of the 2013-2014 model years. In July, Ford declared that it would have to recalls 101,000 vehicles. In May, the company made multiple recalls one after the other. These included more than 750,000 cars, most of which were Escape. Around 692,487 recalls were of Escape SUVs and C-Max hybrids belonging to the 2013-2014 model years. The hitch was regarding a potential software problem, which could obstruct the arrangement of the side curtain rollover airbags.
In addition to this, Ford also announced the recall of 692,744 Escape SUVs, with models years 2013 and 2014. These cars have been called back to fix the faulty door handles. Again, there were no mishaps reported with respect to these snags. Ford admits that the compact might see further recalls in other markets.
The recent recall history of Ford might look enormous. However, one can take heart from the fact that it’s peanuts when compared with its larger rival General Motors (NYSE:GM). The top U.S. automaker has recorded unimaginable recall figures so far this year. It has already surpassed the 2013 numbers. The company’s recall number has surpassed 29 million vehicles. This misery isn’t all. It also suffered from lawsuits, tough regulatory screening, severe investigations and innumerous inquiries for the faulty ignition switch problem. After this General Motors formed and internal investigation team to identified other issues, if any, and consequently announced more recalls for other defects.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that they were inspecting several models of the third Detroit automaker Chrysler as well. This was done to investigate if there were faulty ignition switch issues with Chrysler too, as found in General Motors that killed 13 people. The defect cut power in running cars that’s highly dangerous. A month ago Chrysler declared that it was recalling some Jeep SUVs to fix some ignition related glitch.
Recalls have become a big issue for automakers this year. Not only is it eating away profit margins and adding to the cost, but it’s also damaging the automakers image. For Ford, Escape has been a very powerful model experiencing solid sales. It is the top selling crossover after Honda CR-V, registering 19% sales growth in July. However, it’s seen the maximum number of recalls posts its 2013 redesign. Automaker have seen just half a year, the remaining half is still to go. Will there be bigger recalls? Or will companies see some improvement in the second half? It’s time to wait and watch.