Advertisement

Ford Holds Up Escape Sales for Wiper Fix

November 29, 2000|From Associated Press

DETROIT — For the fifth time in a little over a year, Ford Motor Co. told its dealers to suspend sales and test drives of its new Escape sport-utility vehicles while they are checked for safety-related problems.

The latest notice to dealers was sent Nov. 18, affecting more than 51,000 Escapes and about 24,000 Mazda Tributes, which share a platform and are built in the same plant in Claycomo, Mo. Of those, more than 27,000 Escapes and 12,500 Tributes have already been sold.

Although sales of the Escape began in August, some dealers had small numbers of the vehicle in their lots since October 1999 that were used for test drives.

Ford spokesman Mike Vaughn said dealers were told to check for damaged windshield wiper mechanisms and to replace them if necessary. The wipers could suddenly stop working, he said. Parts to fix the problem "are in the pipeline" to dealers, Vaughn said.

Previous alerts to dealers on the Escape and Tribute have included warnings about the steering wheel coming off, leaky fuel lines and a problem with the cruise control that could cause the throttle to stick.

Vaughn said this is the first Escape notice involving a large number of vehicles already sold. He said the windshield wiper problem was found through warranty claims.

"It is a brand-new vehicle and, sometimes in the launch, minor product problems erupt," he said. "Our goal is to correct them quickly."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|