Bulky carpet pads prompt recall of Ford Escape

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2013 Ford Escape

The 2013 Ford Escape. Image: F. D. Richards/Flickr/CC BY-SA

The 2013 Ford Escape crossover went on sale this month. Yet, already it is facing a voluntary recall. Ford is asking that more than 10,000 units be returned to the dealership to have the carpet padding on the driver’s side floor replaced. The automaker says the padding installed in the factory could interfere with braking.

Ford Escape recall details

Ford has determined “through internal evaluations” that the carpet padding may decrease the space around the carpet, trim and pedals. Therefore, when shifting a foot from the accelerator to the brake, the driver may hit the side of the brake, reducing reaction time and increasing the risk of a crash.

Marcey Zwiebel, a spokesperson for Ford, said that 8,266 of the affected SUVs are in the United States. Another 2,000 or so are in Canada, with another approximately 200 in Mexico.

The affected SUVs were built between March 8 and June 7 at at a production facility in Louisville, Ky. The recall is set to begin on July 23.

Owners who think their vehicle may be affected in the recall can call Ford at 866-436-7332 for further information.

The fix

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Ford will replace the carpet padding and a console trim panel on the affected vehicles at no charge.

Toyota faced similar recall

Toyota faced a similar recall last month involving several Toyota and Lexus models. Initially, the automaker tried to shift responsibility for the issue to owners.

Mike Michels, a Toyota spokesman, told Design News:

“Sometimes, owners use floor mats from another vehicle. Sometimes, they use aftermarket mats. We’ve even found carpet remnants stacked on the floor. The record was eight — in that case, you couldn’t even see the accelerator pedal.”

No escape for Ford

It is to Ford’s credit that it is stepping up to voluntarily correct the issue, although it may have learned its lesson from Toyota. The Japanese automaker has suffered a loss of market shares as a result of multiple recalls, starting in 2009.

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According to Jeffries, Ford’s year-over-year sales were up 7 percent in June.

Petition to recall

Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received a petition from the Center for Automotive Safety, urging that Ford be compelled to recall some 2002-2004 Escape SUVs for alleged unintneded acceleration issues.


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