Ford Motor Co. has announced the recall of 850,000 cars because of the risk of a short circuit that could prevent the air bags from deploying in a crash.
The recalled models include Ford C-Max, Fusion, Escape and Lincoln MKZ vehicles from model years 2013 and 2014. The company said the recall will cost $500 million, The Detroit News reports. The recall was prompted by an electrical glitch that could prevent the air bags from deploying in a crash. The restraints control module can short-circuit, Ford said. The company said if a short circuit occurs, the air bag warning indicator will illuminate. Depending on the location of the short circuit, the air bags, pretensioners, and side curtains may not function as intended, according to the News. It may also affect other systems that use data from the module, including stability control. Ford said it is not aware of any crashes or injuries related to the faulty module. Dealers will replace the module.
This is a record year for vehicle recalls, The Detroit News reports, with the total now approaching 50 million, far exceeding the previous record of 30.8 million vehicles recalled in 2004. Ford has now recalled nearly 3.9 million vehicles in the United States this year, compared with about 1.2 million for all of last year. This is the twelfth recall for the 2013 Escape, and the company has issued 41 technical service bulletins for various problems.
Other automakers have also had record recalls this year. General Motors has recalled 26 million vehicles in the United States and 29.3 million worldwide in 68 separate campaigns, the News reports. GM has recalled cars with defective ignition switches that can unexpectedly slip from the “run” position, shutting off the engine and disabling the air bags. More than a decade after the defect was first known, GM has acknowledged that the defect’s link to 13 fatal crashes and the company set up a compensation fund for the injured and the families of those who died.