Recall Alert: 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid

Ford is recalling 33,021 model-year 2013 versions of the C-Max Hybrid crossover due to a structural issue that poses a safety risk, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The affected vehicles were manufactured from Jan. 19, 2012, through June 25, 2013, (check your vehicle's build date on a sticker on the driver-side doorjamb) and are not equipped with a panoramic sunroof. During testing, it "exceeded a head injury criteria requirement set by the standard. Thus, these vehicles fail to conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 201, 'Occupant Protection in Interior Impact,'" NHTSA said in a statement. This increases the risk of an injury during a crash. "Ford is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this non-compliance," the automaker said in a statement.

Ford will notify owners beginning Aug. 19, and dealers will install energy absorbers between the headliner and the roof for free. Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info. 

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Jean Southwell

The much more serious safety problem with the Ford C-Max is the electrical fault/failure that causes the vehicle to totally stop with no power to get out of the way of traffic. The warning that appears on the display is "Stop Safely Now, Drive to a Safe Location." There is no power to drive anywhere. When you take the car to a dealerhship for repair, as I did,Ford Corporation says they will not reimburse the dealer for repairs unless they can duplicate the event. After they were unable to do so, the dealer service department told me to take the car and drive it away, while agreeing with me that it would very possibly have the same problem again and potentially cause someone to crash into me in traffic. I declined to take the car. The dealer warned me that Ford may decline to continue funding any effort to repair my car which is clearly under warranty, having less than 700 miles.

Do not purchase a Ford C-Max.

Melanie F.

We'll that's awful. I purchased my C-MAX in January of 2013. It has over 12,000 miles on it, it's the most fun car I've ever driven, and have never had my vehicle shut off in traffic unless I did something stupid like press a button I have no business pressing while a car is in drive. I have had absolutely no problems with my vehicle. This recall didn't apply to me, since I purchased one with the panoramic sunroof. The most recent recall does apply, but I don't care, but that's more "idiot proofing" than fixing an actual safety problem. The gas mileage is less than rated, but other than that the car has behaved perfectly for me.

Good luck with you issue.

Terri Ives

I just had the same thing happen last night as happened to Jean Southwell. I was, fortunately, able to coast over to the side of the highway and get onto the shoulder. It's a good thing I was on a downward slope or I may not have made it. After a short time, although interior lights flashed on and off randomly for a long time, my 4-way flashers died so I was invisible to oncoming traffic. Did I mention I was on a HIGHWAY in the dark? Was able to have Ford Road Service authorize a tow to my dealer (nearly 50 miles away). I await their call this morning for an assessment. Until now, everything has been great (except gas mileage), and I love driving my C-Max. I will update when I hear from the dealer!

Terri Ives

UPDATE: So, two weeks have passed and I'm still without my C-Max. First, the hybrid battery module was replaced, but the dealer said there were "still issues". He said they need to try a new hybrid battery, but it's a $10,000 part and they need authorization from Ford. I haven't heard anything for a week, but to be fair we just had a major snow storm here which may have backed things up. I'm planning a 3,000 mile trip in a few weeks and am very concerned that 1) I won't have my car back by then and 2) I won't be able to trust it if I do get it back!

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