Ford Fiesta recalled, Escape scrutinized

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Ford Escape inquiry

DETROIT — U.S. safety regulators are looking into throttle problems in older Ford Escapes at the request of a consumer group.

The nonprofit North Carolina Consumers Council has asked federal regulators to investigate two complaints from drivers who say the small SUV stalled or surged forward.

The government will look at 1.6 million 2005-12 Escapes. If the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration decides to launch a formal investigation, it could lead to a recall of some of the popular SUVs.

The government inquiry is one more sign of trouble for the Escape, which has been plagued by a series of safety-related recalls this year. Ford recently rolled out a redesigned Escape, but both new and old versions of the SUV have been recalled.

In the latest case, the consumers council said that Ford has sent a number of advisories to dealers about Escapes stalling and surging. The so-called technical service bulletins are sent out to help mechanics spot problems and fix them. Such advisories are not recalls.

Ford said it will work with NHTSA.

Ford Fiesta

DETROIT — Ford is recalling more than 154,000 Fiesta subcompacts to fix a problem with the side air bags.

The company says that if the front passenger seat is empty, the side air bag won’t inflate to protect rear-seat passengers in some crashes.

Ford says it doesn’t know of any crashes or injuries linked to the problem.

The recall affects 2011-13 Fiestas. Dealers will reprogram the computer that controls the side air bag so it inflates even if no one is in the front passenger seat.

The repair will be performed free of charge.


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