Ford boosts image with deft handling of 2013 Escape safety recall

Article by Anita Panait, on July 23, 2012

Ford Motor Co. is receiving commendations for its ability to address the problems of its vehicles in an effective yet rapid manner. This was exemplified when Ford issued a safety recall of the redesigned 2013 Ford Escape crossover in response to reports of engine-compartment fires. After three fire incidents, two of which occurred at Ford’s factory, the carmaker immediately created a task force to determine the cause of the incident.

After determining the problem, Ford then told its buyers not to drive the unit and its dealers not to sell it. By conducting the recalls, Ford had to undertake some risks, as the Escape was its second-best selling vehicle in the United States. Ford had recalled the 2013 Escape for a carpet issue that could affect drivers when they are braking.

The recent safety recall may also prompt consumers to remember the problem-laden launch of the original Escape. However, Ford’s swift recall action may not necessary smear the reputation of the carmaker and of the Escape. Lexus and Saturn had conducted major recalls months after their launch, but thanks to swift and appropriate recall, both brands gained reputation for caring about their customers and treating them right. 

Delayed responses to safety issues, on the other hand, may lead to further damage to a car manufacturer’s reputation, just like what happened to Toyota Motor Corp. when it faced allegations of unintended acceleration. Costly are swift recalls maybe but in the long term, a car company could benefit from an improved reputation.

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