Ford Motor Co. announced a new recall affecting nearly half a million vehicles. The newest recall involves two different issues and several different Ford models. Fortunately, there have been no reported injuries as a result of these problems.
Consumer safety is among the most important things a manufacturing company needs to be concerned with. The voluntary recalls both involve safety issues. One problems involves the door latches that have plagued Ford in the recent past. However, the other issue is a new one, and involves engines potentially catching fire.
Details of the Latch Recall
The expanded door latch recall now includes Lincoln MKZs and Ford Fusions from 2013-2014, and Ford Fiesta's from 2014. Between the NHTSA and Ford, there have approximately 12,000 complaints about the door latch problem in 2015 alone. However, compared to the 4 million other vehicles that were subject to this recall in 2015, the 200+k vehicles just added to the recall pale in comparison.
Details of the Engine Fire Recall
The recall due to the danger of engine fires is a little bit different. The problem is not such a direct one, which makes repairing the problem much trickier. The poor coolant circulation can result in overheating. When overheating occurs, the engine block (the part of the motor that everything is basically attached to) can crack. If the engine block cracks, motor oil can seep out and cause a fire in the engine and the engine bay. The problem is related only to the 1.6-liter GTDI engines in North American models of the Ford Escape, Fiesta ST, Fusion, and Transit Connect. The recall affects only approximately a quarter million total vehicles.
The recall fix for the engine fire defect does not necessarily inspire confidence that anything is actually being fixed. Ford plans to add a coolant level sensor and warning light on the dash of recalled vehicles. The sensor and light will notify drivers if coolant levels fall low (which is what can lead to the fire hazard of having a cracked engine block). But this will leave the onus on drivers to understand the necessity of pulling over when a car begins to overheat or run low on coolant.