Ford Motor Co. has recalled nearly half a million cars and sport utility vehicles with an electronic glitch that could cause the engine to continue running even after the ignition has been switched off, creating a possibility for the vehicles to be rolled away or stolen. The 2015 Ford Focus is among the models recalled for a rollaway or theft hazard.
This recall encompasses 433,000 of Ford’s model year 2015 Focus, C-MAX and Escape vehicles, and its implementation will allow the automaker to remain compliant with National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulations regarding theft and rollaway protection. In a statement, Ford said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries associated with the defect and added that the recall is a compliance issue with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 114, which specifies performance requirements intended to reduce the incidence of crashes resulting from theft and accidental rollaway of motor vehicles. There is an issue with the body control module – the cars’ electronic control unit – in the recalled vehicles, which can cause the engine to continue to run after turning the ignition key to the off position and removing the key or after pressing the engine stop button, Ford said.
The recall includes 432,096 vehicles in North America, including 374,781 in the U.S., 52,180 in Canada and 5,135 in Mexico. Ford reported that its dealers will update the body control module software at no cost to customers. Thursday’s announcement comes about a week after the NHTSA launched an investigation into potential brake failures in more than 250,000 Ford pickup trucks. The Office of Defects Investigation opened its investigation on June 22 after identifying 32 complaints alleging that failures in the electric vacuum assist pump caused a loss of brake power assist in 2011-2012 Ford F-150 trucks equipped with 3.5-liter gasoline turbocharged direct-injection V6 engines. Two reports alleged crashes due to increased brake pedal effort required to stop or slow the vehicle, and the complaints it has received show an apparent increasing trend, with approximately 60 percent of complaints received within the past nine months, the agency said.
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