Contrary to recent media coverage, other automakers (besides General Motors) struggle with recall issues. All new vehicles are subject to experiencing problems from time to time, regardless of price, classification, or country of origin. The true test of any automaker is the manner in which the malfunction/s are rectified. As we have discovered in the past few months, there are serious repercussions when an automaker attempts to ignore or deny that there are issues with affected vehicles. Consumer approval is a great price to pay for misconduct but forcing the government to intervene is also an underlying possibility. I am not personally concerned with the number of recalls reported by an individual manufacturer, as long as they show a history of reporting them honestly and consistently.
Here are a few of the latest recall notices as reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
NHSTA Campaign Number: 14V239000
Ford Recall Number: 14S03
Vehicles Affected: 2013 and 2014 Ford Escapes manufactured between October 5, 2011 and April 10, 2014.
Approximately 581,986 vehicles could be affected by this recall condition.
Cause: The outside door handle/s and the outer door panel/s (or door skin) are misaligned on certainvehicles and could become difficult to close or open inadvertently.
Consequence: One or more doors on affected vehicles could open inadvertently while the vehicle is in operation, resulting in the potential injury or death of passengers who are not properly restrained.
Correction: The recall, which is scheduled to officially begin May 26, 2014, will involve a correction of the alignment of the door handle/s and the door panels/s affected, beginning with an inspection by your local Ford dealer. Ford will notify owners of affected vehicles by mail on or after the official recall date.
NOTE: If you own one of the listed vehicles, test the door latch or latches before operating your vehicle to make sure that all doors are closed completely. Should you find a door that is not latching properly or refuses to latch, do not take chances — have it towed to your nearest Ford dealer or local mechanic, before operating the vehicle. The month and year of vehicle manufacture is located on the paper label that is located inside the driver’s door jamb. If you feel that you have a vehicle that is affected by this condition you may contact Ford customer service at 1-800-392-3673.
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V237000
Ford Recall Number: 14S04
Vehicles Affected: 2013 and 2014 Escape and C-MAX
Approximately 594,785 vehicles are affected by this recall condition.
Cause: Certain models of the aforementioned vehicles have experienced delayed deployment of the side curtain rollover airbag/s due to an error in programming the restraint control module (RCM).
Consequence: If the side curtain rollover airbag fails to deploy as it is designed to, the risk of extreme vehicle damage and inherent passenger injury is greatly multiplied.
Correction: The Ford Motor Company will notify owners of the affected vehicles by mail with instructions for scheduling an appointment to reprogram the vehicle’s RCM, free of charge. This notification should take place after May 26, 2014.
NOTE: If you feel that you own a vehicle affected by this condition, or of you receive a letter of recall notification, avoid the risk of vehicle rollover and transport the vehicle to your local Ford dealer at your earliest convenience. If you feel that you own a vehicle that is affected by this condition, you may contact the Ford Motor Company at 1-800-392-3673.
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V204000
Ford Recall Number: 14C04
Vehicles Affected: Certain 2015 ford F-250, F-350, F-450, and F-550 Super-Duty trucks manufactured between September 13, 2013 and March 28, 2014.
Approximately 3,973 vehicles are affected by this condition.
Cause: Trucks equipped with 6.2-liter gasoline engines and 6.7-liter diesel engines and 6R140 automatic transmissions may experience an error in the transmission control module software that will allow the transmission to inadvertently engage reverse gear, while shifting between “park” and “drive.” It could maintain the reverse engagement for a period of 1.5-seconds while indicating that the transmission in in drive on the instrument panel. This condition violates the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS), number 102, and must be repaired as soon as possible.
Consequence: Unexpected reverse engagement of the transmission during certain circumstances could create a situation that places the truck or the occupants of the truck at risk by increasing the chances of a crash.
Correction: Owners of affected vehicles should have been notified by mail (as of May 6, 2014) with information regarding the procedure for rectifying the problem. Ford Motor Company will provide updated transmission control software and reprogram the powertrain control module, free of charge.
NOTE: If you own a truck that is affected by this condition, exercise caution when shifting the transmission from park. Carefully and slowly release the brake pedal, paying particular attention to the vehicle’s intended direction of motion. Have the vehicle repaired at your earliest convenience. If you fail to receive a recall notification letter, you may contact the Ford Motor Company directly at 1-800-392-3673.. The month and year of vehicle manufacture is located on the paper label that is located inside the driver’s door jamb.
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V234000
Chrysler Recall Number: P25
Vehicles Affected: Certain 2010 through 2013 ChryslerTown and Country Vans and Dodge Grand Caravan vehicles manufactured August 25, 2010 through October 31, 2013.
Approximately 644,850 vehicles are included in the recall.
Cause: An electrical short in the function switch of the driver’s vent window circuit could overheat resulting in an electrical fire. The switch is located in the armrest of the driver’s door panel.
Consequence: The overheated switch can result in a fire which begins in the interior of the vehicle and spreads throughout the vehicle.
Correction: The official recall will take effect in June, 2014 with Chrysler contacting affected vehicle owners by mail with further instructions. The faulty vent window switch will be replaced with an updated switch, free of charge.
NOTE: If you feel that you own a vehicle that may be affected by this condition, I suggest that you avoid parking the vehicle inside of a garage or other building, especially garages that are attached to inhabited buildings. A vehicle fire can easily spread to a building in which it is parked, so park outside until repairs are completed. Vehicle owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403.