Ford has started a recall on the 2001-2004 Escape, the same SUV about which the NHTSA started an investigation earlier this month. The recall covers 423,634 vehicles in the U.S. as well as approximately 60,000 more outside the U.S., according to The Detroit News.
The Problem: Ford Escapes from the 2001-2004 model years with a 3.0-liter V-6 under the hood made from October 22, 1999 to January 23, 2004 may have inadequate clearance between the engine cover and the speed control (cruise control) cable connector. This could lead to a stuck throttle when the gas pedal is almost completely pushed down. The NHTSA notes that this risk of unintended acceleration exists regardless of whether cruise control is being used.
The Fix: Starting on or before August 6, Ford will inspect Escapes and increase the engine cover clearance, if necessary. Until replacement parts are available in mid-August, dealers will disconnect the speed control cable as an interim solution. Ford can be contacted at 866-436-7332.
Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 423,634 2001-2004 Escapes in the U.S. and about 60,000 SUVs outside the U.S.
Ford recalled 470,000 2002-2004 Escapes (and Mazda 121,000 2002-2004 Tributes) late in 2004, The Detroit News reports but, in October 2005, an updated repair procedure was sent to Ford dealers to prevent damage from occurring to the speed control cable while fixing the accelerator cable. By that time, about 320,000 Escapes had already been fixed.
Source: NHTSA, The Detroit News