Ford Motor Co. has announced two recalls – one for a fire risk, and another for a door latch problem – covering about 440,000 cars in North America. In a securities filing, Ford says it expects to spend around $295 million to fix the issues. The following is a brief statement relating to the recalls:
• The first recall includes 211,000 2014 model year Ford Fiesta, 2013-14 Ford Fusion and 2013-14 Lincoln MKZ cars that may have faulty latches, resulting in a door that can’t close, according to the automaker. This expands a previous recall of 2.3 million vehicles over this issue, according to Ford. The automaker said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the cars in the expanded recall, but it said that a door opening while driving increases the risk of injury.
• Ford said it had received 29 reports of fires in the U.S. and Canada, though no injuries. The company said that it will mail customers instructions from the owner’s manual on how to check and refill coolant. “Customers can continue to drive their vehicles, but should see their dealer if their vehicle exhibits a coolant leak, overheating or frequently needs coolant added,” Ford said. “When service kits are available, dealers will install a coolant level sensor with supporting hardware and software at no charge to the customer.”
• In September, Ford doubled the size of the door latch recall at the time when it added about 1.5 million cars, bringing the total to more than 2.3 million. The original recall, launched in August, only affected owners in 16 states that generally have higher ambient temperatures and solar loading, including Arizona, California, Florida and Texas. Dealers will replace all four side door latches with a more robust service door latch for free, according to Ford. The expanded recall continues the automaker’s door latch woes, having recalled nearly 3.3 million vehicles over issues with faulty pawl spring tabs since 2015.
• In the other recall, about 230,000 cars are at risk for under-hood fires, according to Ford. In those cars – Ford Escape, Ford Fiesta ST, Ford Fusion and Ford Transit Connects from model years 2013 to 2015 with 1.6-liter GTDI engines — a lack of coolant circulation could cause an engine to overheat and crack the cylinder head. “A cracked cylinder head can result in a pressurized oil leak,” Ford said in a statement. “Oil that comes into contact with a hot engine surface increases the risk of a fire in the engine compartment.”
The first recalls came in January 2015 with 205,000 Ford Taurus sedans. Ford announced a second, separate recall of 213,000 Ford Explorer and Police Interceptor SUVs in March 2015. The automaker launched another recall in April 2015, covering 390,000 model year 2011 to 2014 Ford Fiestas and 2013 to 2014 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles. Ford added 156,000 of the same vehicles to the recall a week later. The automaker disclosed the estimated cost of the recalls in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
In January 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an investigation after the agency received nearly 75 complaints over faulty door latches on model year 2012 and 2013 Ford Fiestas. The agency closed the investigation in October, saying that the recall addressed the safety risks posed by the door latches.
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