Ford, Chrysler Recall 1.5 Million Vehicles

GM also orders another – small – recall.

by on May.10, 2014

Ford's Escape has faced a number of recalls since it was redesigned two years ago.

In the wake of General Motors’ controversial recall of 2.6 million vehicles due to faulty ignition switches it appears automakers are being far more sensitive to potential safety problems – and Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler Group are the latest to announce recalls that collectively total about 1.5 million vehicles.

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GM is also adding to its expanding recall count – which reached a total of 7 million vehicles during the first quarter alone. It has now added another 9,000 midsize sedans to the list.

This week’s big safety news comes from the other members of Detroit’s Big Three, however.

The largest of the recalls comes from the U.S. side of newly merged Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the maker announcing it will need to repair 780,000 minivans because of a problem with power window switches that can short-circuit and overheat, even catch fire, if they get wet – something that can happen if the window is left open in the rain or if a beverage spills on the switches.

The Chrysler Town & Country.

In fact, similar switch problems have plagued a wide variety of manufacturers in recent years, including Toyota, which has had to recall well over 1 million vehicles due to the problems.

(No escape: Family sues BMW after teen dies in locked car. Click Here for the story.)

In Chrysler’s case, a total of 644,850 minivans sold in the U.S. are covered, along with 106,980 sold in Canada, with another 28,647 shipped to Mexico and other markets. The recall covers both the 2010 to 2014 Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country models assembled between August 25, 2010 and October 31, 2013. But only minivans with power window vents for the third row are covered.

Chrysler says it discovered the problem through warranty data that revealed 36 incidents including several fires – all contained within the door. There have been no injuries or accidents reported.

As for Ford, it is actually staging two new recalls. The first involves 692,500 Escape SUVs and C-Max crossovers due to a software glitch that can cause their side curtain airbags to not work in certain types of rollover crashes.  All but 65,000 of the vehicles covered by this recall are Excape models sold during the 2013 and 2014 model-years.

The maker says it knows of no crashes or injuries linked to the rollover airbag problem. Dealers will reprogram the system to solve the issue.

(Despite paying $1.2 bil fine for safety lapses, Toyota delivers record earnings. Click Here for more.)

The Escape models covered by the airbag service action are also part of a broader recall of the SUVs due to problems with exterior door handles that can bind and fail to properly latch. This recall also covers Ford Escape models produced during the 2013 model-year. In some instances, Ford says, a door may inadvertently open while the vehicle is in motion.

Both makers will make repairs at no charge.

Most of the Chevy Malibus covered by the recall are still on dealer lots.

The other recall issuing out of Detroit this week involves a total of just 8,590 midsize GM sedans – 2014 model-year Chevrolet Malibus and Buick LaCrosses. GM says rear brake modules may inadvertently been installed on the front wheels.

(Congressional investigators ramp up pressure on GM in wake of ignition switch problem. Click Here for the latest.)

The maker says the problem does not pose an immediate danger but could lead to premature brake wear and eventual failure. That’s because rear brakes tend to be less rugged, with thinner rotors, most of the braking forces at play when a vehicle has to stop shifting to the front wheels.

GM says the majority of the affected Malibu and LaCrosse sedans are still in dealer lots, only 1,694 known to have been delivered to customers so far.

As with the Ford and Chrysler problems, GM will make repairs at no charge to consumers.



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