Recall Alert: 2005-2008 Ford Escape, 2006-2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrids

2008FordEscapeHybridRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 70,000 hybrid crossovers, including model-year 2005-08 Ford Escape hybrids manufactured between Oct. 13, 2003, and June 20, 2008, and 2006-08 Mercury Mariner hybrids manufactured between June 10, 2005, and June 20, 2008

The Problem: The coolant pump for the hybrid system may fail, resulting in the hybrid electronics overheating; if this happens it may shut down the powertrain, resulting in a stall-like condition and increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Ford will begin notifying owners Oct. 27, and dealers will inspect and replace the original motor electronics coolant pump with an improved, brushless pump for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | September 12, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Ford Fiesta SFE Three-Cylinder: Real-World Fuel Economy

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Small engines and small cars go hand in hand, but the available direct-injected turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder in the 2014 Ford Fiesta SFE is positively miniscule, dropping 0.6 liters displacement versus the standard four-cylinder engine. Its small size has the fuel economy ratings to match with EPA-rated 31/43/36 mpg city/highway/combined compared to the 1.6-liter SFE's 28/38/32 mpg.

Related: 2014 Ford Fiesta EcoBoost SFE: Quick Drive

The EPA ratings are impressive for a non-hybrid, but ratings don't mean much if they can't be duplicated on real roads. Cars.com's observed fuel economy over a few weeks of testing was right on par or higher than the Fiesta SFE 1.0-liter EcoBoost's ratings.

By Joe Bruzek | September 9, 2014 | Comments (13)

Recall Alert: 2014 Ford Focus, C-Max

2014FordFocusRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 500 model-year 2014 Ford Focus compact cars and C-Max hybrids manufactured between Aug. 8 and Aug. 15, 2014

The Problem: Incorrectly assembled steering gears could cause impaired steering, including a loss of steering control, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Ford will begin notifying owners on Sept. 8, and dealers will replace the steering gears for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Ford at 800-392-3673, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | August 29, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 Ford Transit Connect

2014FordTransitConnectRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 370 model-year 2014 Ford Transit Connect vans manufactured between March 1, 2014, and May 15, 2014

The Problem: The affected vehicles may have a brake reservoir cap that does not have the required text advising owners which brake fluid the vehicle uses. This could result in someone adding the wrong brake fluid, causing damage to the brake system seals and, in turn, brake fluid leaks; this could lengthen stopping distances and increase the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Ford notified owners on July 14, and dealers will replace the brake reservoir cap with the correct one for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Ford at 800-392-3673, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | August 25, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2015 Ford Transit, Transit Cargo Van

2015FordTransitRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 2,000 model-year 2015 Ford Transit and Transit cargo vans in two separate actions.

The Problem: According to The Detroit News, the Transit recall includes about 1,300 vans and is due to a potential brake fluid leak at the joint between the rear brake hose and brake caliper. If there's a leak, drivers will eventually see the red brake warning lamp and a "Brake Fluid Level Low — Service Now" message in the instrument cluster. Drivers may also notice a longer pedal travel and extended stopping distances. Ford is recalling an additional 600 Transit cargo vans due to a potential issue with windowless sliding doors. The doors were assembled without epoxy reinforcement, making them more likely to come unlatched during side-impact crashes, The Detroit News also reported. Ford said it is aware of no injuries as a result of either problem.

The Fix: Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace sealing washers in Transits and install a reinforcement plate into the door in Transit cargo vans. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule for either action.

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

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | August 18, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2015 Lincoln MKC

2015LincolnMKCRecall

Vehicles Affected: About 1,300 model-year 2015 Lincoln MKC crossovers

The Problem: According to The Detroit News, some vehicles may have windshields that do not meet federal requirements specifying that no bubbles or other defects are allowed. Certain manufacturing conditions may have allowed air to be trapped between layers of glass.

The Fix: Lincoln manufacturer Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace faulty windshields for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Ford at 800-392-3673 for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | August 18, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2013-2014 Ford Escape, Ford Focus ST

2013FordEscapeRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 130,000 model-year 2013-14 Ford Focus ST hatchbacks equipped with 2.0-liter engines and manufactured at the Michigan Assembly Plant between Feb. 14, 2012, and Oct. 14, 2013, and Escape crossovers equipped with 2.0-liter engines and manufactured at the Louisville Assembly Plant between Oct. 5, 2011, and April 1, 2013, according to The Detroit News

The Problem: Wiring harnesses may have splices that were insufficiently compressed by the supplier, The Detroit News reported. Poor electrical connections can cause erroneous signals to be sent to the powertrain control module and affect engine performance. The defect may result in an engine malfunction indicator light illuminating, reduced engine power, hesitation or stalling, the newspaper reported. No crashes or injuries related to the condition have been reported. This is the 11th recall involving the 2013 Escape.

The Fix: Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the affected wiring splices for free.

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

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | August 18, 2014 | Comments (0)

Chevrolet, Ford Kick Off Labor Day Sales Early

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It's still a couple weeks before you can fire up the barbecue and watch your alma mater get steamrolled by the Southeastern Conference, but some car dealers are kicking off Labor Day early — on the sales front, that is. Automotive News reports (subscription required) that Ford launched its Labor Day sale on July 29. The sale, which runs through Sept. 2, includes most of its lineup save the 2015 Mustang, F-Series and commercial vans, according to Automotive News.

Related: July's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

We checked the offers, and most involve zero-percent financing for as long as 72 months, or offers of up to around $3,000 off an Escape, $3,500 off an Edge and $3,500 off a Fusion (all 2014s). That's more than what Ford offered on the Fusion a year ago, but incentives don't appear to have increased a great deal in the past month, so this summer sale could mostly be a new name for existing spiffs.

GM, meanwhile, started its Chevy Labor Day Sale early because, as GM spokesman Jim Cain told Automotive News, "Ford started its Labor Day sale a little bit early." The brand's sale includes three months' deferred payments on the 2014 Silverado, Traverse, Cruze, Malibu, Camaro and Impala. Cash incentives on those models amount to $2,500 on the Cruze, $2,000 on the Malibu, $1,000 on the Impala, $2,000 on the Camaro and $2,000 on the Traverse (all 2014s). Chevrolet is GM's only brand that's offering the 90-day deferrals, Cain told us. GM isn't offering the deal for its Buick, Cadillac and GMC brands.

By Kelsey Mays | August 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 83,000 Ford and Lincoln Crossovers, Sedans, SUVs

2014FordEdgeRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 83,000 model-year 2012-14 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers manufactured between Sept. 2, 2010, and Nov. 30, 2013; 2013-14 Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS sedans manufactured between Aug. 25, 2011, and Nov. 30, 2013; and 2013-14 Ford Flex SUVs and Lincoln MKT crossovers manufactured between Sept. 12, 2011, and Nov. 30, 2013

The Problem: The halfshaft retention circlip may not have been properly installed, and as a result the halfshaft may move outward and disengage from the linkshaft while driving and without warning. If this occurs, power will no longer be transmitted to the wheels, increasing the risk of a crash. In addition, if the parking brake is not applied before exiting the vehicle, a rollaway may occur despite the transmission being in Park, increasing the risk of injury to exiting occupants and bystanders.

The Fix: Ford will begin notifying owners Aug. 29, and dealers will inspect the vehicles to make sure that the halfshaft is properly retained; if it is not, dealers will replace the linkshaft and the halfshaft if it shows evidence of spline damage. The automaker will make the repairs for free.

What Owners Should Do: Both Ford and Lincoln owners can call Ford at 800-392-3673, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | August 14, 2014 | Comments (0)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: July 2014

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Today's sales figures continue to pave the road for a strong 2014. As the sales year steams into its second half, we've seen new optimism from analysts and automakers that expect total new-car sales this year to land close to where they were in the heyday years of the early 2000s.

Related: Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: June 2014

With the largest seven automakers reporting numbers so far today, industry sales increased 9 percent over July 2013. Honda was the odd one out (down 3.9 percent), but Hyundai-Kia, Toyota and recall-beset GM reported single-digit sales gains, while Chrysler, Ford, Nissan and Toyota reported double-digit gains. All of that is compared against a pretty good month a year ago for the industry, too.

Thanks to big gains from the Sentra and Versa, Nissan sales gained 11.4 percent. Small-car sales overall were mixed: Shoppers had more interest in the Ford Focus (up 5.7 percent) but not the recall-besieged Chevrolet Cruze (down 17.8 percent), the Honda Civic (down 7.3 percent) or the Hyundai Elantra (down 7.9 percent).

By Kelsey Mays | August 1, 2014 | Comments (4)

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