Ford says that Escape, Fusion models were affected by software glitch

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 12, 2012

Ford Motor Co. admitted that a glitch in the software that monitors the vehicles' cooling systems is what caused the defect that increased the risk of an engine fire in its recently launched Escape and Fusion models. A recall was issued on Nov. 30 for nearly 90,000 Escape crossovers and Fusion sedans. The affected models are powered by the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine.

Ford said that the cooling system’s initial design couldn’t handle a loss of pressure in certain conditions, which may set off a vehicle fire when the engine was running. The software in the models covered in the recall will be updated by Ford. In a statement, the company said that by applying the software updates, the engine temperatures will be better managed during a unique overheating condition that may take place under unique operating conditions.

Raj Nair, Ford's s product development chief, said that the repairs won’t have any material impact on the company’s finances since these are covered by its warranty reserves. Ford informed U.S. safety regulators that they had received nine reports of fires from customers. Ford is encouraging those who drive 2013 Escape and Fusion vehicles to call their dealer and get a free replacement vehicle while the software has still to be updated.

In a statement, Ford's global product development chief Raj Nair said that the company acts promptly when it recognizes a potential issue. Since July, Ford has issued recalls that cover the 2013 Escape crossover four times. Of these recalls, two were related to problems with its 1.6-liter turbocharged engine. Ford considers the Escape and Fusion as two of its most critical launches in 2012.

Ford designed the new Fusion with the promise of superior visual quality. The carmaker will deliver on this promise through improved materials, attention to detail, and a higher level of craftsmanship.

You will love the Ford Fusion’s interior surfaces, which are softer to the touch. Also, the car’s exterior and interior gaps are minimized, and extra care was taken to upholster edges and surfaces that you can touch. For instance, when you open the trunk lid, a spring-loaded cover hides the trunk latch hardware automatically.

Adrian Whittle, chief engineer for Ford Fusion, says that the holistic goal of their craftsmanship process is to ascertain that the car not only delivers an outstanding visual experience but also offers superior quality. He explains that the key contributors to how the car feels include its ride and handling components, which maximize vehicle dynamics.

John Jraiche, program manager, adds that the Fusion is really a driver's car. According to him, the car is a lot more fun to drive with its electric power-assisted steering or EPAS, as well as with its premium-level multilink rear suspension and MacPherson strut front suspension.

Ford's vehicle ride and handling team did some really careful tuning to achieve a dynamic character for the Fusion that will make a well-seasoned enthusiast happy and will increase a less-experienced driver’s confidence level.

The Fusion’s interior reaches a new level with its acoustic underbody shields as well as its weight-saving sound-absorbing material, both of which minimize powertrain and road noise while also boosting aerodynamic efficiency and fuel economy. The all-new Fusion boasts a full-perimeter hood seal and other content that makes the car among the leaders in the mid-size sedan segment when it comes to offering you a quiet ride.

Fusion Energi and Fusion Hybrid models are also equipped with an active noise control feature, which uses the car’s audio system in mitigating extraneous outside noise while it enhances powertrain sounds.

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