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.

Manufacturer photo

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

2014 Ford Fusion Energi: Car Seat Check

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The plug-in hybrid version of Ford's midsize sedan may sacrifice some cargo room to accommodate its battery, but the backseat's legroom isn't affected. Although space wasn't a major issue in the Fusion Energi's backseat, buried Latch anchors and our test car's stiff leather seats complicated installation.

More Car Seat Checks

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

By Jennifer Geiger | January 28, 2014 | Comments (2)

2014 Ford Fusion 1.5-Liter Rated at 36 MPG

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Ford's adding a new engine to its Fusion lineup in the hopes of increasing fuel economy. Turns out, the turbocharged 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder is slightly less efficient than the current 1.6-liter EcoBoost.

The 178-horsepower 1.5-liter, which is optional on SE models, is rated at 23/36/28 mpg city/highway/combined with the six-speed automatic transmission, according to the EPA. For 2014, the 178-hp 1.6-liter can only be equipped with a manual transmission and is rated slightly higher at 25/37/29 mpg.

Like the 1.6-liter, the new 1.5-liter will be available with stop-start engine technology. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder (22/34/26 mpg) remains standard on the S and SE models, and the Titanium retains a standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 22/33/26 mpg (front-wheel-drive versions.)

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By Jennifer Geiger | October 9, 2013 | Comments (32)

2014 Ford Fusion: What's Changed

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Most significant changes: Ford adds a new turbocharged 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that is available with stop-start technology. Inflatable rear seat belts are available on all models.

Price change: The starting price for the base Fusion S is unchanged at $22,695 (including destination charge), the midlevel SE is up by $25 and the Titanium models are up by $300.

On sale: Since August

Which you should buy, 2013 or 2014? The 2013; changes on the 2014 models aren't significant enough to make them more desirable.

Ford hit a home run with the redesigned 2013 Fusion, which features class-defying styling, competent handling and a roomy, functional interior. Sales took off early, and Ford has had a hard time keeping up with demand.

A new turbocharged 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder is a new option for the SE model and is sold along the current 1.6-liter. The 1.5-liter and the standard six-speed automatic feature stop-start technology that shuts off the engine at red lights as a fuel economy feature. However, city and highway mileage are rated 1 mpg less for the 2014 1.5-liter compared to the 2013 1.6-liter that had stop-start as an option. For 2014 the 1.6-liter can only be equipped with a manual transmission. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder remains standard on the S and SE models, and the Titanium retains a standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four.

By Rick Popely | September 16, 2013 | Comments (5)

Recall Alert: 2013 Ford Fusion

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Ford is recalling just 20 model-year 2013 Fusion sedans due to a problem in the steering system that could result in loss of vehicle control, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Affected vehicles were manufactured between April 19 and April 23, 2013. The steering gears may be missing an internal retaining clip, which could cause components inside the gear to become dislodged inside the gear assembly; this could result in impaired steering and loss of control, increasing the risk of a crash.

Ford will begin notifying owners in mid-June, and dealers will replace the steering gear for free. Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332 or the NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236, or go to www.safercar.gov, for more info.

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By Matt Schmitz | June 11, 2013 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 420,000 Ford Sedans, SUVs

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Ford is recalling more than 420,000 model-year 2013 sedans and SUVs to check for fuel-tank leaks that could result in a fire; affected models include the 2013 Ford Fusion, Flex, Explorer, Taurus and Police Interceptor sedans and SUVs, as well as the 2013 Lincoln MKZ, MKS and MKT. In addition, Ford also announced two more separate recalls to address problems with engine-block heater cords in 500 model-year 2013 Lincoln MKZ sedans and steering gears in a small number of 2013 Ford Fusion sedans.

In the largest of the recalls, as of March 31, Ford had received 600 consumer complaints pertaining to potential leaks in the vehicles' fuel-delivery module, which could result in a fire. Ford said there had been no reports of fires or injuries as a result of the leaks.

"The condition could result in customers detecting an odor of fuel, or in some cases, observe evidence of a fuel leak on the ground," said Kelli Felker, Ford safety communications manager, in a statement. "While a fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source may result in a fire, there have been no reports of fires. We are not aware of any accidents or injuries attributed to this condition."

By Matt Schmitz | June 3, 2013 | Comments (0)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

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Perhaps using its imposing makeover for 2013 to scare off competitors, the Toyota RAV4 continued its reign of terror atop our list of most-read reviews of the week. The compact crossover's nearest opponent, the 2013 Ford Fusion, generated a little more than a third of RAV4's reader interest. Maybe newcomers to the list, including the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid (No. 6) and the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid (No. 10), will gain enough confidence in coming weeks to face down the RAV4.

Until then, check out what was popular this week:

1. 2013 Toyota RAV4
2. 2013 Ford Fusion
3. 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
4. 2013 Ford Explorer
5. 2013 Ford Escape
6. 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
7. 2013 Toyota Avalon
8. 2013 Nissan Altima
9. 2013 Nissan Pathfinder
10. 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
By Matt Schmitz | February 3, 2013 | Comments (1)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

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The 2013 RAV4 held off the competition once again to retain the top spot among our most-read reviews of the week. It was joined by some fresh faces this week: the 2013 models of the Hyundai Sante Fe Sport, Nissan Pathfinder and Ford Fusion Hybrid landed at Nos. 6, 7 and 8, respectively, squeezing the Cadillac ATS, Mazda CX-5 and Acura RDX out of the top 10. Meanwhile, the Toyota Avalon, Ford Fusion and Ford Escape gained some ground, as the Ford Explorer, Nissan Altima and Subaru XV Crosstrek lost their footing.

Check out what was popular this week:

1. 2013 Toyota RAV4
2. 2013 Toyota Avalon
3. 2013 Ford Fusion
4. 2013 Ford Escape
5. 2013 Ford Explorer
6. 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
7. 2013 Nissan Pathfinder
8. 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid
9. 2013 Nissan Altima
10. Subaru XV Crosstrek
By Matt Schmitz | January 27, 2013 | Comments (0)

2013 Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ, Mercedes-Benz C-Class Join NHTSA's Five-Star Club

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Several new vehicles joined the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's five-star club today, earning the top score of five stars overall in crash tests performed by NHTSA. New inductees are the 2013 Ford Fusion, 2013 Lincoln MKZ and the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Meanwhile, the all-new 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid and redesigned 2013 Nissan Sentra didn't fare as well, with both having to settle for four stars overall.

The Fusion's and MKZ's front-, all-wheel-drive and hybrid models all received five stars in the frontal crash test and four-star ratings in side and rollover crash tests. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class' rear- and all-wheel-drive models scored five stars in the side crash test and four stars in frontal and rollover crash tests.

Both the C-Max Hybrid and Sentra fell short, receiving five-star scores in only the side crash test and four stars in the other two tests.

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By Matt Schmitz | January 18, 2013 | Comments (0)

Hybrid Mileage Lawsuit Hits Ford

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A California law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit against Ford Motor Company on behalf of an owner of a new 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid. The owner claims that he is not achieving anywhere near the EPA-stated fuel economy rating for his car. According to the Detroit News, the suit alleges "false and misleading" advertising regarding the C-Max, which is rated by the EPA at 47 mpg combined and which Ford advertises as achieving that level, handily trouncing main rival Toyota and its Prius v wagon.

The suit is being filed for one owner in particular who claims that he has achieved only 37 mpg in his C-Max—and a quick look at the EPA's website fueleconomy.gov reveals that 40 others have chimed in with their own mileage achievements, averaging only 39.7 mpg in the real world. The EPA has already stated that they intend to look into Ford's mileage ratings after receiving complaints about the new C-Max and Fusion Hybrids not living up to their advertised claims, including a surprising review from Consumer Reports that found Ford's new hybrids to have the widest variance between rated and tested fuel economy of any cars it has ever tested.

By Aaron Bragman | December 28, 2012 | Comments (25)

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