Escapes built from Feb. 15 through April 10 are covered by the door handle recall but not airbag software recall, while those built before Feb. 15 are covered by both recalls. Ford said it does not know of any crashes or injuries related to either recall.
Ford said the airbag software defect could delay deployment of the side-curtain airbags in some rollover accidents, increasing the risk of injuries. Dealers will be instructed to reprogram the restraint control module.
The door handle problem could make doors difficult to close or cause them to open while driving, potentially injuring an occupant, Ford said. Dealers will inspect the handles and reposition them if necessary.
Customers will be notified by the end of May, and repairs for both recalls can be performed simultaneously.
Ford sent a service bulletin to dealers in December 2012 for exterior door handles that it said could bind or stick, particularly in cold weather, according to information posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said she did not think that bulletin was related to the same issue that the recall addresses.
NHTSA’s Web site lists two complaints related to troublesome door handles, one of which said a door swung open while the vehicle was moving. No complaints about the airbag problem are posted.