Ford, Mazda recall over 23,500 2001-model vehicles over brake and software problems : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Ford, Mazda recall over 23,500 2001-model vehicles over brake and software problems

DETROIT (Reuters) - Automakers Ford Motor Co. F.N

( and Mazda Motors Corp. on

Tuesday said they have recalled more than 23,500 2001-model vehicles to fix possible braking and software problems.

Ford, embroiled in helping Firestone recall 6.5 million tires linked to at least 88 deaths, recalled 22,078 of the 2001 Ford Windstar minivans, Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis sedans, and Lincoln Town Car sedans to replace air bag diagnostic modules that could malfunction, causing the air bags to deploy or the seat belts to tighten unexpectedly, Ford spokesman Mike Vaughn said.

The No. 2 automaker changed the design specifications for the module and will replace those already shipped, he said. Fewer than 2,000 of the vehicles are in customer hands.

The problem led the automaker to idle the Windstar assembly plant in Oakville, Ontario, for two days earlier this month.

Ford also recalled all Escape small sport utility vehicles built in Kansas City, Mo., between Oct. 22, 1999, and Aug. 31, 2000, without anti-lock braking because of two cases found in which two-wheel-drive SUVs inadvertently were built with four-wheel-drive, rear-wheel hubs, Vaughn said. That mismatch could result in loose rear wheels and vehicle control loss.

The problem was discovered during a pre-delivery inspection, he said.

In both recalls, there were no reports of injuries or accidents, Vaughn said.

"This is a brand new air bag system and a brand new vehicle in the Escape and sometimes minor production problems develop in the launch of a new system or a new vehicle," he said. "Our goal, of course, is to find the problem quickly, isolate the affected population and get them fixed quickly."

Vaughn said Mazda, Ford's Japanese affiliate, also has recalled an unknown number of Escape's sister SUV, the 2001 Tribute, which is built at the same plant. Mazda officials couldn't be reached to comment.

The Escape and Tribute recalls were the third for both vehicles. In early August, Ford recalled 1,300 and Mazda 625 of the SUVs for potential steering wheel problems, and later that month they recalled another 800 and 325, respectively, for possible throttle problems.

Ford will send letters of notification to owners in the larger recall this week, while Escape owners will be mailed letters on Sept. 25, Vaughn said

-- Carl Jenkins (, September 12, 2000


Ford seems to be drowning in problems of late.

-- Uncle Fred (, September 12, 2000.

it's difficult to give full credence to the ills that have fallen upon Ford over this past month. What a stretch of bad luck.

-- Billiver (, September 12, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ