Ford Motor Co. is issuing two further recalls of the Ford Escape crossover over software glitch that could make airbags deploy late in a crash and over exterior door handles that may fail to properly latch. Each one covers around 700,000 vehicles globally and involves 2013-2014 model years Escape. The airbag software recall also covers around 65,000 C-Max hybrids.
Ford Escapes produced from Feb. 15 through April 10 are covered by the door handle recall but not airbag software recall. Escapes built before Feb. 15 are covered by both recalls. Ford said it is not aware of any crashes or injuries related to either recall.
According to the carmaker, the faulty airbag software could lead to a delayed deployment of the side-curtain airbags in some rollover accidents, increasing the risk of injuries. Ford will have its dealers reprogram the restraint control module.
On the other hand, door handle issue could make doors difficult to close or cause them to open while driving, which could possibly injure an occupant. Ford will have its dealers inspect the handles and reposition them, if needed. The carmaker will inform customers of the recall by end of May, as repairs for both issues can be done simultaneously.
In December 2012, Ford sent a service bulletin to dealers for exterior door handles that could bind or stick, particularly in cold weather, according to information found at the Web site of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker, however, remarked that she doesn’t think that the bulletin was related to latest recalls. The Web site has two listed complaints linked to faulty door handles, one of which involved a door swinging open while the vehicle was moving.
In April, Ford issued a recall of Escapes assembled during a two-month period last summer over substandard seat welds that could make the seat back loose or lean.
The recall also involved other Ford models like the C-Max, Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ, bringing the total number of affected units to 43,135 vehicles.
The current generation Escape was called back three times in 2013 and four times in 2012 – with four of them tied to issues that could potentially lead to a fire. In one case in 2012, Ford recalled Escapes over a fuel line issue that could cause an engine fire.