Model: Other Pickups
This year more than most, it's pleasant when we can string together a few days without word of an automaker or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announcing a bunch of new recalls. It's seemingly been a little quiet on this front lately (barring a spider-related Suzuki issue revealed early today), but now we have word of the government safety agency opening a Preliminary Evaluation into the 2013 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor, a probe that could potentially affect an estimated 20,000 vehicles.
The issue being investigated concerns failures of the front brake hose on the vehicle that show "small splits in the hoses near the body side ferrule of the hose assembly," according to the agency, and the issue could result in longer stopping distances. The feds have reports of 13 malfunctions affecting 11 Explorer units. However, it's important to note that all of the incidents come from a single, unnamed metropolitan police fleet that operates 46 of them. According to The Detroit News, the failures generally took place between December and July.
NHTSA is investigating further to find if this is a more widespread issue than just this one fleet. Ford spokesperson Kelli Felker confirmed to us, "We are cooperating with NHTSA on this investigation, as we always do." Scroll down to read the agency's report.
With the introduction of the aluminum-bodied 2015 Ford F-150 (and the likely use of aluminum in future Ford products), Ford is looking to help its dealerships reduce costs related to repairing this more labor-intensive material. Automotive News is reporting that Ford dealers with body shops will require an estimated $30,000 to $50,000 in equipment and training to work on aluminum, and to help alleviate the financial burden of the new F-150, Ford has announced a special 20-percent discount on this equipment.
Dealers will be able to save up to $10,000 on tools such as welders, air-filtration systems and rivet guns and to create aluminum-specific work stations. The new F-150 goes on sale in the fourth quarter, and dealers have until October 31 to take advantage of this deal, according to the report.
It seems that the hard winter in much of the country has been as rough on some Fords as it has on many people. The Blue Oval is recalling roughly 434,000 vehicles in two separate recalls, and one of them partially caused by the salt used to melt the snow on roads.
The first recall covers 385,750 2001-2004 Escape models in the Midwest, Northeast and Canada because a subframe could rust and eventually fail. This is partially due to the road salt used in those areas, and about 349,000 of the affected vehicles are in the US. To remedy the problem, dealers are installing a reinforcement cross brace on the frame to strengthen them. There has been one crash caused by the failure but no injuries. According to The Detroit News, this is not the first rust-related recall for Ford. It estimates the company has repaired over two million vehicles since 2010 for problems on vehicles related to the iron oxide, including the rear wheel wells of the Freestar minivan.
The second recall covers 48,950 2013-2014 Ford Fusion, Escape, C-MAX and Lincoln MKZ models because welds in their seatbacks don't meet National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standards. The fault affects the front seats, and the sub-standard welds joining the setback to the recliner could increase the chance on injury. There have been no reported injuries or accidents caused by the problem, but there are 42,972 affected vehicles in the US and 4,744 in Canada.