Ford Motor Co. has issued the 16th recall on the Escape crossover since its redesign three years ago.
The automaker today said it needs to fix a problem with the instrument panel on more than 200,000 Escapes and Transit Connects from the 2014 and 2015 model years. When starting the vehicles, chimes, warning lights and messages may not work, which is a violation of federal safety standards.
Ford said it doesn’t know of any accidents or injuries related to the problem, which affects 202,298 Escapes and 1,147 Transit Connects, all in North America. Dealers will update the instrument panel cluster software.
The Escapes were built from May 2014 through February 2015 in Louisville, Ky. The Transit Connects were built from May through December 2014 in Valencia, Spain.
The Escape, redesigned for the 2013 model year, has been among the industry’s most recalled nameplates since then. Ford has recalled the 2013 Escape 12 times and the 2014 model nine times. Five campaigns affect both model years.
Today’s recall is the first on the 2015 Escape.
Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, told Automotive News in April that the company hasn’t found any systemic problems to explain the recalls but has worked closely with suppliers to improve launch quality. Vehicles introduced more recently have had fewer recalls.
The problems haven’t noticeably affected sales. Escape sales in the U.S. rose 3.5 percent in 2014 and are down 4.3 percent this year through May, but Ford says that’s related to capacity constraints as the company has increased exports of the crossover.
Ford announced a second recall today that affects 49 Transit vans, all owned by one fleet customer. That recall also is related to a safety-standard compliance issue.
Ford said the special-order front-passenger seat belts in those vehicles work properly but were mislabeled by the supplier. Ford said in a statement, “A representative selected by Ford will install a new label on the seat belt anchor that includes the required information.”
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.