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New Ford Fusion model recalled for second time in two weeks

December 07, 2012|By Jerry Hirsch
  • The 2013 Ford Fusion was recalled for the second time in two weeks, this time to fix a headlight issue.
The 2013 Ford Fusion was recalled for the second time in two weeks, this time… (MCT )

Ford is recalling about 19,000 of its new Fusion sedans to fix a headlight problem.

It's the second recall so far for the 2013 model year family sedan, which just went on sale and is an important component in Ford's strategy to balance its sales between passenger cars, sport-utility vehicles and trucks.

Last week, Ford recalled about 16,000 Fusions and 73,000 Escape SUVs because of problems that could cause engine fires. The recall involved only 2013 models equipped with a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine, the automaker said. The issue does not affect Escape or Fusion models with other engines, it said.

In the recall announced Friday, Ford said the Fusions may not have had the low-beam headlamp projector coating properly cured during the manufacturing process.

An improperly cured projector coating will over time become hazy through operation, reducing the brightness of the low-beam lamp. This may decrease driver visibility and increase the risk of a vehicle crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The new Fusion has received generally good reviews from the automotive medias but still has become mired in recalls and other controversy.

Earlier this week, Consumer Reports said its testing demonstrated that the Fusion hybrid and another vehicle, Ford's C-Max hybrid, did not live up to their respective 47 mpg fuel-economy ratings for city, highway and combined driving.

"After running both vehicles through Consumer Reports real-world tests, CR's engineers have gotten very good results. But they are far below Ford's ambitious triple-47 figures," the magazine, which operates its own testing center in Connecticut, said Thursday.

In the Consumer Reports tests, the Fusion hybrid delivered 39 mpg overall and 35 and 41 in city and highway conditions, respectively.

The C-Max hybrid achieved 37 mpg overall, with 35 and 38 for city and highway.

"These two vehicles have the largest discrepancy between our overall mpg results and the estimates published by the EPA that we've seen among any current models," the magazine said.

Ford responded in a statement, saying, "Early C-MAX Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid customers praise the vehicles and report a range of fuel economy figures, including some reports above 47 mpg. This reinforces the fact that driving styles, driving conditions, and other factors can cause mileage to vary."

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