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

2014FordC-MaxRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 750,000 model-year 2013-14 Ford C-Max hatchbacks built at the Michigan Assembly Plant between Jan. 19, 2012, to Nov. 21, 2013; Fusion sedans built at the Hermosillo Assembly Plant in Mexico between Feb. 3, 2013, and Aug. 24, 2013; Escape crossovers built at the Louisville Assembly Plant between Oct. 5, 2011, and Nov. 1, 2013; and Lincoln MKZ sedans built at the Hermosillo Assembly Plant between April 25, 2012, and Sept. 30, 2013

The Problem: The restraints control module may experience a short circuit; if this occurs, the airbag warning indicator will illuminate. Depending on the location of the short circuit, the deployable restraint systems (airbags, side curtain airbags, pretensioners) may not function properly in a crash, increasing the risk of an injury. In addition, the short circuit may affect the function of other systems that use data from the restraints control module, including stability control, in which case the corresponding warning indicator would also illuminate. Ford, which announced the voluntary recall today, said it is unaware of any accidents or injuries related to the problem.

The Fix: Ford will notify owners and dealers will replace the restraints control module 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 | September 26, 2014 | Comments (3)

Reduced MPG in Six Ford Models Matches Cars.com's Results

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If Cars.com editors' observed mileage is any indication, more drivers should see real-world fuel economy figures that match the new EPA numbers on six Ford models.

Ford Lowers Fuel Economy Ratings on Six Cars, Will Reimburse Owners

Ford announced June 12 that it would reduce EPA mileage on six vehicles – the 2013-2014 C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid, the 2013-2014 Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, the 2013-2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and the 2014 Fiesta – because of an error in EPA mileage tests. The revisions, which downgrade EPA combined mileage as much as 7 mpg on the hybrids, will appear on new-car window stickers this week.

We've tracked mileage in four of those six cars, and our results fall a lot closer to the revised numbers than what they used to be. We haven't spent enough time behind the wheel of the Fusion Energi or MKZ Hybrid to report on mileage yet, but here are the rest:

By Kelsey Mays | June 16, 2014 | Comments (8)

Ford Lowers Fuel Economy Ratings on Six Cars, Will Reimburse Owners

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Ford announced today that it is revising fuel economy ratings for six models and compensating owners of about 200,000 vehicles after internal testing revealed errors in its evaluation process. Vehicles affected include the 2013-14 C-Max Hybrid, Fusion Hybrid, C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrids, and the gas-only 2014 Fiesta; the 2013-14 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is also affected. Ford said it notified the EPA after learning of the discrepancy, and it worked with the agency to retest the vehicles and determine the correct ratings. The automaker said it has reviewed its entire lineup to determine which models required further testing, and that no further adjustments are planned.

Amid Complaints, Ford to Drop C-Max Hybrid to 43 MPG

The testing error was specific to a component of engine-power testing called Total Road Load Horsepower, a measure of resistance. Ford said it has validated the revised TRLHP for affected vehicles through physical testing and put checks and balances in place for future testing. The automaker also said it has notified its dealers and new fuel economy labels will be available in about six days; vehicles will continue to be sold in the interim. Customers can call Ford at 866-436-7332 for more info.

Ford said it will pay owners of the affected vehicles the difference in estimated fuel costs between the old and revised ratings; lease customers will be reimbursed at a lesser rate than owners. The specific differences in fuel economy and the amount to be paid in reimbursement to owners, are as follows:

By Matt Schmitz | June 12, 2014 | Comments (6)

Recall Alert: 2006-2011 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Lincoln Zephyr and MKZ

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Vehicles Affected: About 82,500 driver's-side all-weather floormats in model-year 2006-11 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, and Lincoln Zephyr and MKZ sedans

The Problem: If improperly installed, the floormats may come in contact with the accelerator pedal, causing interference and increasing the risk of a crash, according to the Detroit News. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is aware of 52 reports of problems related to this issue.

The Fix: Ford will notify owners, and dealers will exchange the driver's-side all-weather floormats for a new set for free; some owners will get as many as four new mats.

What Owners Should Do: Ford has not yet issued an owner notification schedule. Owners can call the automaker 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 | May 29, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Lincoln MKZ and MKZ Hybrid: Car Seat Check

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Since its 2013 redesign, the Lincoln MKZ has delivered in the looks department. When it comes to child-safety-seat fit, this near-luxury midsize sedan and its hybrid counterpart perform well, but a difficult-to-access Latch anchor caused it to lose some points. In this Car Seat Check, we tested the MKZ with optional inflatable rear seat belts ($195) in the outboard seats. The MKZ Hybrid has the same dimensions as the MKZ.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Jennifer Newman | May 27, 2014 | Comments (0)

Best Hybrids for the Money 2014

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Gas prices remain historically high and volatile, and one of the most successful ways automakers and American motorists have adapted is by embracing hybrid technology. Though a few full-size hybrid trucks from GM have been discontinued, 2014 sees as many models as ever. No matter why you may want a hybrid, you might want to know how well it meets its mission.

More Alternative Fuels News

To determine if a hybrid's added expense is worth the cash, we devised an efficiency-cost rating. It's simply the EPA's combined mpg rating divided by the base price (meaning MSRP plus destination charge). We then multiply that result by 1,000. This formula can be applied to any type of vehicle, hybrid or not. A high mpg rating and low price provide a high efficiency-cost rating. A higher score is the better score.

We don't account for equipment levels, quality judgments, cost of ownership or any variances from EPA mileage estimates. The goal here is to pay the least for the most mileage, barring all other considerations.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | April 14, 2014 | Comments (11)

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: 2013-14 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

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Vehicles Affected: Ford's luxury arm is recalling approximately 7,153 model-year 2013-14 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid sedans manufactured between April 26, 2012, and Sept. 24, 2013.  

The Problem: The transmission range sensor could fail, allowing the car to be shifted out of Park without the application of the brake pedal. If a driver does this unintentionally, the car could roll away, increasing the risk of a crash. 

The Fix: Dealers will update the powertrain control module software for free.

What Owners Should Do: Ford will notify owners in January. Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 for more information. 

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By Jennifer Geiger | December 30, 2013 | Comments (0)

Amid Complaints, Ford to Drop C-Max Hybrid to 43 MPG

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Ford will lower EPA mileage on the C-Max hybrid to 43 mpg in combined city/highway ratings — a drop of 4 mpg compared with today's 47-mpg rating. The automaker will announce full details at a press conference later this afternoon, and we'll update you as more information becomes available. Citing two unnamed sources, the Detroit News reported the matter minutes ago. EPA rules allowed Ford to issue the same rating for the C-Max as it did the Fusion Hybrid because the two cars had family similarities, the newspaper reports, but the decades-old procedure doesn't suit hybrids as well.

Loopholes and Fuzzy Math: The Tangled Science of MPG Ratings

The move comes amid a string of criticism. Consumer Reports said in December 2012 that its fuel-economy tests rendered mileage in the high 30s for both the Fusion Hybrid and C-Max. The same month, a California law firm filed a class-action lawsuit that claimed real-world hybrid mileage for the C-Max fell well below EPA numbers. However, one Cars.com editor achieved the stated EPA mileage on the C-Max in his commute, and we logged mileage in the low-40s over more than 100 miles of testing.

By Kelsey Mays | August 15, 2013 | Comments (1)

Mercedes-Benz Is Luxury Car Thieves' Most Wanted

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That Mercedes-Benz in your driveway might have turned the tables on the Joneses, who are now trying to keep up with you, but that envy doesn't end with your neighbors. According to a report released today by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, to steal a Mercedes-Benz is considered an honor among thieves. The German automaker's iconic three-pointed star adorns three of the top 10 most-stolen luxury models in the U.S., with the C-Class taking the No. 1 spot with 485 thefts from Jan. 1, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2012.

The Des Plaines, Ill.-based nonprofit's analysis divided the luxury-vehicle segment into three subclasses — compact, midsize and premium — with thefts across all three totaling 4,384 for the 2010-12 model years. The compact class accounted for the greatest portion of that total, with 2,150 thefts, followed by the midsize class' 1,734 thefts and the premium's 500. By state, the distribution of thefts largely correlates with population size: California lays claim to 1,063 of the total luxury thefts, the most, while South Dakota and Wyoming each had only one. By core-based statistical area, which includes a densely populated urban center and its surrounding areas, the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island area had the largest number of luxury thefts at 806, followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif., with 491, and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla., with 452.

By Matt Schmitz | July 30, 2013 | Comments (5)

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