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Ford recalls 527,000 Crossovers over Fire Hazard

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Ford Motor Co. is recalling 527,000 Ford Escape crossovers from the 2001-04 model years because the antilock brake system in the small truck can catch on fire, according to a news report posted on consumer watchdog Web site, Consumeraffairs.com.

According to a statement issued by Ford, missing or incorrectly installed seals on the wiring harness could lead to corrosion when water or road salt gets into an electrical connector. The corrosion could cause the ABS warning light to come on and lead to melting or burning of the electrical ABS connector. The recall does not include the hybrid version of the Escape.

The article states that the Ford Escape fires have prompted several reports to ConsumerAffairs.Com. Ford has not reported any accidents or injuries as a result of the Escape fire, but according to the article, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received complaints of at least 50 engine fires connected to the problems. The federal agency is also reportedly actively investigating the Ford Escape.

The article also talks about a Ford Escape owner in Jacksonville, Fla., whose 2001 Escape burned last month. This is what the woman had to say to consumeraffairs.com:

“I saw smoke rolling out of the engine compartment. The car had not moved in two days and my brother came to the truck with me. We popped the hood and smoke was everywhere, but primarily coming from underneath the brake reservoir.”

She said she could tell by the smell that it was an electrical issue as the wires were melting and burning. She got through to Ford after repeated efforts to contact a company spokesperson, who only told her that they had never heard about the problem before but that several factors could have caused the fire.

“No one offered any help or understanding,” the woman wrote in her complaint. “My brother has contacted a friend who works for Ford and he stated that there had been problems with fires caused due to a brake module that was getting corroded and water would get into it and cause vehicle fires.”

However, Ford now admits the fire problem and promises the recall will address missing or incorrectly installed seals on the wiring harness of the antilock brake connector. Company Officials state dealers will inspect the vehicles for corrosion and replace the connector and ABS module if necessary. Ford said it expects most vehicles will not have any corrosion concern, and will have the connector greased and reconnected.

This hardly comes as a surprise. When does Ford ever admit to a problem with one of their vehicles? The track record is miles long – Ford Explorer, the Expedition and the Excursion all prone to rollover accidents. All their SUVs and pickup trucks have serious issues with “roof crush” or “roof cave in”. The roofs are so week they do not hold in a rollover accident, crushing down on the front seat passengers. No wonder they are having such financial challenges.

It seems to me the problem is within. What happened to quality and reliability? Company officials need to investigate what is wrong with their quality control system or maybe they are the problem. There are serious safety hazards with Ford vehicles. Worse yet when someone calls about a problem they know about, Ford goes into their, “deny, deny and then deny”.

Remember what was reported, “Ford has not reported any accidents or injuries as a result of the Escape fire, but according to the article, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received complaints of at least 50 engine fires connected to the problems.” How could that be?

Suffered serious injuries by a Ford product? Call me and let’s discuss your rights and options. John Bisnar, 800-259-6373.

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