Ford is currently issuing a recall for nearly 1.4 million vehicles from the 2013-2014 model years because of a dangerous air bag malfunction and door handles that have the potential to not latch properly. Approximately 692,500 Escape and C-Max models possess the air bag issue; 591,000 in the United States, 78,000 in Canada, and 19,700 in Mexico.
Ford representatives have explained that the issue which caused the recall regards an airbag known as a “safety-canopy.” The canopy is an air bag which deploys from the ceiling in order to protect the vehicle operator’s head in case of a side impact or rollover. The issue lies with the computer software, which could lag the deployment of the canopy air bag in particular rollover circumstances, possibly increasing the risk of injury to the driver. The company has stated that there have been no reports of injuries or accidents yet due to the malfunctioning air bag. Ford dealers will repair and reprogram the air bag control system at no extra cost to the owner of the vehicle.
More vehicles in the 1.4 million Ford recall are subject to the door handle latch issue (most of the vehicles suffer from both). An estimated 692,700 Escapes are afflicted with the door handle defect, including 580,000 in the United States, 89,500 in Canada, and 20,000 in Mexico. Ford disclosed that any of an affected car’s door handles could fail and refuse to latch appropriately, enabling any of the vehicle’s doors to open while the car is in motion. Ford said that any accident reports due to this issue have not been made known to them. Just like with the air bag malfunction, any owner can take their Ford vehicle into a dealership and have the handles fixed and repositioned if needed, free of charge.
The 1.4 million vehicle recall could not have come at a worse time for Ford, who in the first quarter of this year saw their net income fall from $1.64 billion to $989 million (a 39 percent deprecation). The company was also charged $122 million for plant closings in Europe. Ford’s U.S. sales have also been steadily falling during the January-March period, accumulating in a total 3 percent drop. The company’s financial issues have led to an unforeseen deprecation of its stock when compared to the price of the shares of its competition.
Ford is not the only one issuing recalls this year. In an email sent from Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker, she disclosed that there could be malfunctions in other markets. It seems she may be right considering that GM is in the process of recalling roughly 9,000 Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse sedans from the 2014 year due to rear brake rotors mistakenly installed on front brakes, as stated by the automaker in a news release. GM’s problem is not as drastic as Ford’s; GM stated that braking performance in its vehicles should not be impaired, but over time braking efficiency might be reduced if the issue is not addressed. The automaker said that only 1,700 vehicles were sold that have the complication, and the majority of those are still in dealerships. Under federal law, the dealer cannot sell any of the vehicles before they are repaired.
By Andres Loubriel