Ford recalls SUVs for brake problem

Should the automaker gear up for some intense damage control?

By Benzinga Jul 16, 2012 12:47PM

Image: Los Angeles, Calif., traffic on Interstate 405 © VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm/Digital Vision/Getty ImagesBy Katey Stapleton, Benzinga

Slamming on the brakes in a 2013 Ford (F) Escape Crossover may not be as easy as one would hope, which is exactly why the automaker has decided to call the new model back in for modifications. As of Sunday, Ford had recalled 10,000 Escapes because carpet padding might interfere with braking.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Ford is requesting that the redesigned SUVs be temporarily returned as safety issues have become apparent since their recent release. The carmaker has said improperly installed carpeting on the driver's side could interfere with the brake pedal and increase the risk of a collision.

Should Ford be gearing up for some intense damage control? The company has already promised the affected customers a new panel free of charge, with repairs set to begin July 23. While Ford has been quick to act, the problem could turn some consumers off the company, at least temporarily.

Toyota's (TM) June recall, which involved a similar floor mat issue, stretched to more than 150,000 customers. And the company did experience a decrease in sales over the issue. However, Ford quickly took full responsibility, while Toyota debated whether the driver was to blame.

"Sometimes, owners use floor mats from another vehicle," Toyota spokesman Mike Michels told Design News. "Sometimes they use aftermarket mats. We've even found carpet remnants stacked on the floor. The record was eight. In that case, you couldn't even see the accelerator pedal."

Ford's latest recall comes as business has been good. Both Ford and General Motors (GM) have seen sales pick up in recent months. The two manufacturers beat forecasts in April, May and June. Analysts at Jefferies recently reported that Ford's June sales were up 7% year over year and General Motors trumped that with year-over-year sales up 16%.

With the competition heating up in Motor City -- GM announced last week that it would hire thousands of new workers -- Ford no doubt wishes it could escape its most recent recall. But the company will have to endure whatever scrutiny it may face and work to rectify the safety issues.

Owners of the redesigned 2013 Ford Escape may call 866-436-7332 to find out more information.

Ford closed Friday at $9.27, down approximately 14% year to date.

Jul 16, 2012 3:49PM

Apparently its tough to design a brake pedal that doesnt sit on or near the floor for some of these companies.  Guess the fact I have always driven GM products which have a brake pedal that is high enough off the floor to never get trapped has spoiled me.


WHy anyone would buy Toyota or Ford when they cannot even design a brake pedal is beyond me.

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