Recall Alert: 2013-2014 Ford Fusion, Escape, C-Max, Lincoln MKZ

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Vehicles Affected: About 42,972 model-year 2013-2014 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans, and Ford Escape SUVs and C-Max Energi and Hybrid vehicles

The Problem:The vehicles' seatback frames do not comply with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standards, according to the Detroit News. Certain driver and front passenger seatback assemblies may have been produced with substandard welds joining the seatback recliner mechanism to the seatback frame. This could increase the risk of injury in a collision, the newspaper reported. No crashes or injuries have been reported as a result of the faulty frames.

The Fix: Dealers will replace the seatback frames for free. Ford has not yet listed an owner notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332 for more info.

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By Matt Schmitz | April 7, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2001-2004 Ford Escape

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Vehicles Affected: Around 349,000 model-year 2001-2004 versions of the Escape compact SUV sold in states where salt is used to melt ice on the roads.

The Problem: The Detroit News is reporting that rust could cause problems with the vehicle's subframe, impacting the driver's ability to steer. This could cause a crash; Ford is aware of one related crash but no injuries were reported.

The Fix: Dealers will install a reinforcement cross brace for free.

What Owners Should Do: Ford has not yet provided an owner notification schedule. Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332 for more information.

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By Jennifer Geiger | April 7, 2014 | Comments (0)

Ford Updates Escape Software Amid NHTSA Investigation

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Ford's Escape is no stranger to recalls, but despite a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation of sudden loss of engine power on certain versions of the Escape and Fusion and Mercury Mariner and Milan, the agency is not issuing a recall.

According to the Detroit News, more than 10,000 vehicle owners complained about the loss of power on model-year 2009-13 vehicles equipped with 2.5-liter and 3.0-liter engines. Ford issued a "Customer Satisfaction Program" and sent notices to affected owners in January instructing them to bring their vehicles in for a software recalibration. NHTSA opened its investigation in February, and although an official recall wasn't issued, Ford said it will update the software in 1.6 million affected vehicles as well as extend the warranty coverage on the affected parts to up to 10 years and 150,000 miles.

Check out the full story from the Detroit News here.

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By Jennifer Geiger | March 4, 2014 | Comments (0)

Cubby Conundrum: 2014 Ford Escape Suffers From Lack of Storage

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The 2014 Ford Escape, a five-seat compact crossover, is flexible when it comes to hauling people and larger items, but during a recent test drive, it seemed my kids in the backseat had the same amount of storage that I did in the front. That meant I had less than I'm used to.

2014 Ford Escape: What's Changed

I struggled with the lack of storage for my random, everyday items. There are two cupholders in the front row, but you can just eliminate one of them from the get-go because there's no small cubby for a smartphone or the Escape's enormous key fob. Reserve a cupholder for those items. Yes, you can keep them in your purse (if you carry one).

By Sara Lacey | January 31, 2014 | Comments (6)

Recall Alert: 2013 Ford Escape

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 139,917 model-year 2013 Escape SUVs, manufactured between Oct. 5, 2011, and June 2, 2013, and equipped with a 1.6-liter engine.

The Problem: The engines may experience under-hood fires due to localized overheating of the engine cylinder head, leading to cracks causing oil leaks; engine oil that comes into contact with a hot engine surface could result in an engine-compartment fire. As of Nov. 18, Ford was aware of a dozen such fires in the U.S. and one in Canada. In addition, in those vehicles built between Oct. 5, 2011, and July 11, 2012, engine-compartment fuel lines may have been installed incorrectly when repaired under a previous recall, and could chafe and eventually leak fuel; this could cause a fire in the presence of an ignition source. According to USA Today, the U.S. action is part of a worldwide recall of more than 161,000 model-year 2013 Escapes. The automaker said it began getting engine-fire reports in late August, according to the newspaper. The SUV has been recalled seven times since it was redesigned and went on sale in spring 2012.

By Matt Schmitz | November 26, 2013 | Comments (3)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: October 2013

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As experts largely predicted, car shoppers shook off any hesitation from the federal government shutdown and bought enough new cars in the second half of October to drive the auto industry up about 11 percent by Halloween, judging by numbers from the largest seven automakers.

The Detroit Three led the pack, with sales up 13.9 percent. Nissan, Toyota and Honda gained 9.5 percent, while Hyundai-Kia were nearly flat with a 0.6 percent increase.

"Consumers showed resiliency in October with steady auto sales despite headwinds caused by the government shutdown," Toyota division GM Bill Fay said in a statement. Sales for the automaker's best-selling Camry ebbed, but a redesigned Corolla lifted Toyota's numbers. Honda saw a larger boom in the Civic, while shoppers shied away from the Accord; both cars had a strong October 2012. Nissan's popular Altima, meanwhile, fell 11.5 percent.

By Kelsey Mays | November 1, 2013 | Comments (11)

Which New SUV Is Comparable to the Saturn Vue?

"Which new SUV is comparable to the Saturn Vue? I am driving my fourth Saturn Vue and have been really frustrated at the thought of replacing it. I already looked at the Equinox but passed because it is not comparable — it's bigger and pricier. Then I saw the Chevrolet Captiva! Problem solved — or so I thought (fleet only). If I can't buy a Captiva, I will go to another brand. I buy new, so a used Captiva is not an option in my mind."

Sue

By Matt Schmitz | October 20, 2013 | Comments (1)

2014 Ford Escape: What's Changed

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Most significant changes: Backup camera standard on all models; 1.6-liter engine standard on Titanium models (instead of 2.0-liter); SEL models are discontinued

Price change: Base S model increases $230, and SE models are up $480; prices on Titanium models have dropped by $1,270 because of a smaller standard engine

On sale: Since midsummer

Which you should buy, 2013 or 2014? 2014

The Escape was redesigned for 2013 and was a sales success for Ford, despite early quality issues and safety recalls.

For 2014, a backup camera is standard on all models, and an optional hands-free power liftgate that can be opened with a kicking motion is now grouped with a 3,500-pound towing package.The SEL trim level is no longer offered.

By Rick Popely | September 13, 2013 | Comments (0)

Ford Updates Multimedia Systems, Again

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Ford’s latest update to its Sync and MyFord Touch systems aims to streamline voice recognition, enlarge on-screen buttons and simplify smartphone pairing. The updates also apply to MyLincoln Touch from Ford’s luxury division.

The Sync updates should simplify some of the system’s multistep voice commands, and MyFord Touch/MyLincoln Touch will get larger touch-sensitive areas along the four-quadrant home screen to reach specific menus (navigation or audio, for example), the Detroit News reports. Ford should unveil the free online download next week for Ford and Lincoln drivers with the system, the newspaper said.

It’s the latest in a string of updates Ford has sent to owners, either through mailed USB drives or online updates, for its MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch systems. The largest came in November 2011, when Ford tried to simplify the system’s fonts and reduce lag with a major software update. We tested the new system, and it didn’t live up to its billing.

The updates come as Ford weathers criticism — from ours to J.D. Power and Associates’ quality scores — over its touch-capacitive controls. The automaker announced in June it would bring more buttons to future versions of MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch that would follow the layout in Ford’s F-Series pickup trucks. That system retains most buttons, as opposed to the button-avoidant panels in the Explorer and Edge SUVs.

Related
Ford to Add More Physical Buttons to MyFord Touch
Living with MyFord Touch on a 3,500-Mile Road Trip
More Ford News

By Kelsey Mays | August 6, 2013 | Comments (0)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: July 2013

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The auto industry came off a June that saw the best sales rate since 2007, and the momentum appears to have run through July. Toyota had its best July since 2008; GM had its best July since 2007. Chrysler and Ford had their best July since 2006. Honda sales, up 20.9%, represented the best July since 2006. And Nissan and Hyundai-Kia had their best July ever. With the top seven automakers reporting numbers, sales are up 13.6%.

The 10 best-sellers changed little, with one car — the Ford Escape — dropping off the charts. The Toyota Corolla, whose 2014 redesign is waiting in the wings, replaced it.

A gallon of regular unleaded gained 15 cents in July, according to AAA, but small, fuel-efficient cars had a mixed month. The outgoing Corolla stayed flat, but rival Honda Civic gained nearly 30%. The Toyota Prius hybrid — ever the indicator of shoppers’ flight to fuel efficiency — gained a stunning 40% over an already-strong July 2012, mostly on the strength of the original Prius, which had a slight incentives uptick versus a year ago. The Chevrolet Cruze, meanwhile, piled on 70.2% in sales versus a slow July 2012 (sales were down 39.3% that month) thanks to higher year-over-year incentives on the compact sedan — and despite much lower dealer supply. The Ford Focus, meanwhile, stayed flat despite bigger incentives this year.

By Kelsey Mays | August 1, 2013 | Comments (12)

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