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Ford Launches New Safety Tech to Avoid Collisions, Ease Parking

New systems to phase in over coming two years.

by on Nov.04, 2016

Ford's Evasive Steering Alert will help a driver not just stop but steer around obstacles.

Ford plans to roll out an assortment of advanced systems over the next two years designed to make driving simpler and safer, among other things helping prevent the sort of deadly crashes that occur when motorists turn the wrong way on a limited-access highway.

The new tech features are also meant to take Ford’s current auto-park system and make it even easier and more flexible. Ford’s push puts it in line with what key competitors are doing as they move ever closer to launching the first fully autonomous vehicles. Ford has gone as far as promising to have its first completely driverless model in production by 2021.

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“Driver-assist technologies help us all be better drivers because they enhance our ability to see and sense the road around us,” said Scott Lindstrom, manager, driver-assist and active safety at Ford. “Ford’s investment in research and development is paying off by accelerating innovation to expand our portfolio of driver-assist technologies that deliver functionality and performance that customers will value.”

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NHTSA Investigating Ford Focus Door Latches

Could impact as many as 400,000 vehicles.

by on Jan.20, 2016

NHTSA is investing complaints about ineffective door latches on 2012 and 2013 Ford Focus models.

U.S. safety regulators announced they’re looking into complaints about Ford Focus compacts with doors that do not latch properly. The problem affects as many as 400,000 vehicles built for the 2012 and 2013 model years.

There have been 73 complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, including one instance in Texas where the driver’s side door flew open while driving.

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“This is an extreme safety hazard, and it is just a matter of time until someone falls out of a moving vehicle and is killed or injured,” the person wrote in the complaint filed with the agency, adding that he called the automaker and was told that it is aware of a large number of failures but would not do a recall. (more…)

Ford Recalling New Fusion for Faulty Headlamps

Second recall in a week for new sedan.

by on Dec.07, 2012

The 2013 Ford Fusion faces a second recall.

Ford Motor Co. plans to recall more than 19,000 of its new Fusion midsize sedans to replace faulty headlamps, the second service action hitting the new and well-publicized vehicle in just a week.

Last Friday, the automaker announced that it would recall about 80,000 vehicles, including nearly 16,000 Fusions, because of a potential fire risk.

The latest recall was triggered by the discovery of a manufacturing defect at a Ford supplier that could result in the vehicle’s headlamps dimming and becoming hazy over time, according to documents the automaker filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety  Administration.

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A company spokesman said the headlamp problem was discovered during internal testing of the Fusion sedan, which was completely redesigned for the 2013 model-year and which went on sale in September. The maker says it has received no reports of accidents or injuries related to the problem – though NHTSA warned that the defect could nonetheless increase the possibility of a crash.

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Safety Investigators Probing Over 2 mil Honda, Ford Vehicles

NHTSA looking at ignition, engine problems.

by on Oct.05, 2012

NHTSA will consider a request to open a formal investigation targeting more than 1.5 million older Ford Escape SUVs.

Federal safety investigators are taking a closer look at reported safety problems that could eventually involve more than 2 million Ford and Honda vehicles – though it is far from certain the moves will result in eventual safety-related recalls.

A formal probe is now underway by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration targeting Honda Odyssey minivans and Pilot SUVs because of concerns about defective ignition locks that could permit vehicles to roll away.

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NHTSA is, meanwhile, reviewing a request to open a formal investigation into reports that the last-generation Ford Escape suffers from a defect that could cause engine stalls or surges.

The issues could prove problematic for the two makers if they eventually lead to recalls.

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Ford Betting Safety Will Sell New Fusion

New poll says “safety does sell.”

by on Aug.29, 2012

Ford is betting that an array of advanced safety gear will help sell the 2013 Fusion sedan.

“Safety doesn’t sell.”  Or so went the conventional wisdom that followed the failure of Ford’s effort, in 1957, to introduce what was, for that era, a raft of breakthrough safety gear.

This time, the maker is a little more confident that safety really does attract buyers – something that was underscored by a new survey it conducted showing that the latest alert and assist systems could provide a market advantage for the all-new Fusion debuting later this year.

Drivers are well aware their limitations, according to a new survey done for Ford by an independent polling firm and involving a sample of more than 2,000 drivers from across the U.S. The pollster found nearly 50% of those contacted have fallen asleep while driving or know someone who has; nearly six in 10 blame blind spots for accidents or near collisions and nearly four in 10 of those surveyed fear parallel parking.

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“We found the drivers we talked to were definitely inclined toward features that provided real practical benefits by alerting them to potentially hazardous situations they may have missed,” according to Billy Mann, managing director of Penn Schoen Berland, which did survey for Ford.

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Ford Recalls 500,000 Escapes for Sticky Throttles

New problem created by old fix.

by on Jul.27, 2012

Ford has decided not to wait for the results of a NHTSA investigation into the 2001-2004 Escape.

Facing an investigation by NHTSA into work done under a previous callback Ford Motor Co. is now recalling nearly 500,000 of its older Escape SUVs because of a problem that could cause cruise-control cables to snag and lead the vehicle to begin racing out of control.

The recall applies only to V-6-powered versions of the popular Ford compact sport-utility vehicles built between the 2001 and 2004 model-years.  But it could add to the embarrassment for the maker which already has had to issue a pair of recalls for the brand new version of the Escape.

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The recall of the older models of the SUV follows word that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would begin an investigation covering both the Escape and the virtually identical Mazda Tribute.  In all, the probe targets 730,000 of the vehicles.  It appears that not all the Escape models included in the NHTSA action are being recalled, however. The latest recall covers just 485,000 of the Ford utes.

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Ford Warns Some 2013 Escape Owners to Park Ute Due to Fire Risk

Second recall in a week of new crossover-utility vehicle.

by on Jul.19, 2012

The new 2013 Ford Escape faces its second recall in just a week -- this one affecting 11,500 vehicles.

Ford Motor Co. is advising owners of an estimated 11,500 new Escape crossover-utility vehicles to park the vehicle until they can be repaired by dealers due to a potential fuel line leak that could cause the vehicle to catch fire.

Ford’s all-new 2013 Escape crossover utility vehicle may have scored well with consumers but not as well with federal safety regulators after the Detroit maker announced the second recall involving the new CUV in less than a week.  Earlier versions of the Escape are also under investigation due to concerns about potentially sticky accelerator assemblies.

The latest Escape recall specifically targets new 2013 models equipped with the maker’s 1.6-liter engine.  Other versions are not involved in the recall – in which Ford takes the unusual step of asking owners to not drive the vehicle until repairs can be made.  Dealers will provide a loaner vehicle at no charge and handle transporting the vehicles to their service bays for repairs.

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Unlike most recalls where makers may take as much as a month to notify owners and begin to make repairs, Ford is urging immediate action, according to Ray Nevi, the assistant director of the maker’s safety operations. “Our intensive investigation and testing has identified the area of concern and we are moving as quickly as possible to repair vehicles for our customers. In the meantime, it is extremely important that affected customers not ignore this recall and immediately contact their dealer.”

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Ford Reveals New Safety Technologies

Systems alert drowsy drivers, encourage teens to drive safely.

by on Oct.28, 2011

The Ford Explorer will get a new system designed to alert a driver falling asleep behind the wheel.

Ford Motor Co. wants to make sure you don’t fall asleep behind the wheel – something four in 10 Americans admit they have done at one time or another.

A new system designed to alert drowsy drivers is among a number of new safety technologies the maker is planning to bring to market, it revealed during a background briefing.  Other systems include one intended to encourage drivers and passengers to buckle up, while another allows parents to ensure young drivers don’t get distracted by phone calls while behind the wheel.

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The new Ford Explorer will be getting a Lane Keeping System that can warn drivers if it detects they are getting too tired to drive. More than 40% of Americans say they have fallen asleep or nodded off while driving, according to a survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

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Ford Shows Seats That Can Monitor Your Heart and Vehicles That Talk to One Another

Detroit maker aims to position itself as industry tech leader.

by on Jun.22, 2011

Ford plans to expand the use of inflatable seatbelts that first debuted on the 2011 Explorer.

Seats that can monitor your heart or warn of an impending diabetic attack; vehicles that chat with each other – and with stoplights – Ford Motor Co. lifted its kimono this week to reveal an array of high-tech systems the Detroit maker hopes will help position it as an industry leader.

The challenge is significant, however, in the world of digital, in-car technology.  Where a breakthrough powertrain or vehicle design might give a maker a several-year lead, it’s much more difficult to stay ahead in terms of electronics – as Ford is discovering now that most of its key competitors are taking aim at its popular Sync system.

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Ford invited journalists to its Dearborn headquarters this week to show of the latest and greatest innovations now under development, starting with Sync.  Ford is tweaking its voice-operated system to make it more user-friendly, adding bigger on-screen fonts and improving software and voice recognition.

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Ford Adds Another 1.2 mil Trucks to F-Series Recall

Feds also expanding probe into possible “rollaway” Fords.

by on Apr.14, 2011

Ford now has expanded the F-Series recall to include more than 1.3 million trucks.

Under pressure from federal regulators who had expanded an investigation into a reported airbag problem, Ford Motor Co. now says it will recall another 1.2 million F-Series pickups, increasing more than tenfold a recall first announced in February.

The maker initially planned to recall just 144,000 F-Series trucks produced at its plant in Norfolk.  An apparent assembly line problem was blamed for occasional wiring damage that could cause the vehicle’s airbags to fire inadvertently.  But government regulators argued that the recall should cover a far broader range of the full-size trucks.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, meanwhile, has expanded a probe of 1.5 million Ford sport-utility vehicles linked to a defect that could cause them to roll away even though the driver believed the vehicle had been shifted into Park.

“We’re recalling the complete population of (F-Series) trucks built between 2003 – which marked the start of production of the all-new 2004 truck – and 2006, 1.2 million vehicles in the U.S.” explained Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood, following the makers decision to expand the original safety action.

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