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.

It was in 2009 when Ford first launched the EcoBoost V6 engine under the Lincoln MKS and the Taurus SHO. Since then, it has become the engine of choice for many customer worldwide. That’s not surprising as this highly-celebrated engine technology from the brand is able to beat rivals when it comes to a combination of excellent driving performance and exceptional fuel economy.

Ford has been implementing the strategy of coming up with smaller-displacement powertrains that deliver high output while ensuring that fuel efficiency continues to be excellent. The goal is to give the drivers worldwide uncompromising performance. This is where the EcoBoost enters the picture. Holding at least 125 patents with regards to this engine technology, Ford hopes that at least 90% of its range will have the EcoBoost inside by 2013.

In line with this plan, the new Ford Escape with come in a choice of two types of EcoBoost engines. The first is the four cylinder 2.0-liter engine with the second the four-cylinder 1.6-liter variant, with the latter being introduced to the U.S. for the first time. In addition to the turbocharging and the direct fuel injection, both of which are the core of this technology, there’s also a twin independent variable camshaft timing, or Ti-VCT.

With this combination, the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine is expected to offer torque that is larger than even what is provided by the Toyota RAV4 and its V6 engine. Meanwhile, the 1.6-liter variant is expected to have fuel economy that is the best in its class and that’s better by 5 mpg compared to the previous Escape generation.

Powertrain Supervisor Roger Maynard said that by offering customers of the new Escape the option to choose between two EcoBoost engines, this complements that range of high-tech and smart features being equipped inside as well. Both versions of the engine, he added, are projected to give a more dynamic driving performance while guaranteeing that fuel economy is maximized.

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