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Ford to Recall Escape Due to Safety Issues

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Ford Motor Co. (F) announced that it is recalling more than 692,000 Escape small SUVs and C-Max gas-electric hybrids mostly in North America. The automaker is recalling the vehicles due to two safety issues — software and door handle problems. The recalled vehicles are of model years 2013 and 2014 and most of Ford’s Escapes have both the safety issues.

At first, Ford will recall 692,500 Escape and C-Max vehicles with the faulty software. The software problem can prevent the side curtain air bags to inflate in case of a rollover crash. Ford said that there is no report of any casualty due to the error. The dealers will reprogram the air bag control computer at no extra cost.

Of the total recalled vehicles, around 65,000 are C-Max models and the remaining are Escapes. Around 591,000 vehicles were sold in the U.S., 78,000 in Canada and 19,500 in Mexico. The recalled Escapes were manufactured during Oct 5, 2011 through Feb 14, 2014. The C-Max vehicles were produced between Jan 19, 2012, to Feb 24, 2014.

Secondly, Ford will recall 692,700 Escapes to fix a problem in the exterior door handles which can prevent the door from latching properly. This could open the doors of the SUV when it is in motion, thus increasing the risk of injury.

Dealers will examine the handles and relocate them if required. However there are no reports of crashes or injuries. Of the vehicles recalled, 583,000 were sold in the U.S., 89,500 in Canada and 20,000 in Mexico. The Escapes were produced from Oct 5, 2011, through Apr 10, 2014.

In case of both the recalls, Ford suspects that there may be more vehicles in other markets affected by these problems.

Recently, Ford announced the recall of 3,976 commercial versions of its F-Series full-size pickup trucks, mostly in the U.S. The recall is being made as these vehicles can accidentally slip into reverse, which might cause a crash.

Other automakers are also facing challenges due to series of recalls. General Motors Co. (GM) has been facing a tough time lately due to the same problem. After the faulty ignition switch recall, the automaker has announced the recall of over 1.3 million vehicles in the U.S. owing to an electric power steering glitch.

Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) announced the biggest recall of 6.39 million new vehicles globally. The recall is being made to fix five different problems involving parts from steering to seats. The defect was detected in 27 Toyota models including the RAV4, the Yaris subcompact, the Pontiac Vibe and the Subaru Trezia. However, no casualties were reported.

Ford currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Volkswagen AG (VLKAY), a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock, is currently performing well in the automobile industry.

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