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Old 11-04-2002, 13:24   #1 (permalink)
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Ford recalls 572,795 Focuses

Reuters / November 04, 2002

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. said on Monday that it was recalling about 572,795 of its compact Focus vehicles from the 2000 and 2001 model years in North America because of potential safety problems including engine fires.

The Focus has suffered a string of quality problems since its introduction in 1999 and Ford, which is implementing a wrenching turnaround plan after losing $5.45 billion last year, has now issued 11 safety recalls for the vehicle.

The world's No. 2 automaker said the latest recalls stemmed from two separate issues that could have safety consequences.

One involves a bolt in the front suspension assembly that can become loose and cause noise and vibration or, in a small number of cases, lead to separation of the ball joint, Ford said in a statement.

It said the other concern involved Focus vehicles with Zetec engines in which potential problems with the placement of a battery cable could result in smoke, wire melting or under-hood fires.

Additionally, Ford said it was extending a service program on 2000-2001 Focus vehicles in North America because of concerns over a rear-wheel bearing seal.

An earlier service program because of the problem focused on vehicle owners in 21 U.S. States. But Ford said North American customers outside those original areas, including owners in Canada, would now be encouraged to bring their cars into dealerships to have the seal replaced.

Ford announced in September that it would offer a "powertrain coverage plan" for the 2003 model Focus good for five years or 100,000 miles, which could be transferred between owners.

Several automakers, including DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler arm and Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd. offer warranties longer than the typical three-year or 36,000-mile plan to reassure customers worried about quality.

Ford contends that it has fixed many quality problems with the Focus, improving its score on a benchmark quality study 23 percent between 2000 and 2002. The automaker has also said warranty claims from the first months of service are declining.

"We are serious about improving not just the quality of the new Focus, but also the reliability of Focus cars from prior model years," Sue Cischke, Ford vice president for environmental and safety engineering, said in Monday's statement.
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My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

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Old 11-05-2002, 10:53   #2 (permalink)
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Feds step up Focus probe

Reuters / November 05, 2002

DETROIT -- U.S. vehicle safety regulators have stepped up their investigation into another reported defect involving Ford Motor Co.'s troubled Focus, citing complaints of stalling engines.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Tuesday it had raised a preliminary investigation into the engine problem to the level of an "engineering analysis," a step that often precedes a recall.

Ford said on Monday it was recalling about 572,795 Focus vehicles from the 2000 and 2001 model years in North America because of problems with a bolt in the front suspension assembly and improperly installed battery cables that can catch fire on models equipped with Zetec engines.

The engine stalling issue is not related to those separate safety recalls, however.

NHTSA said Ford had received 3,274 complaints about the Focus engine problem and added that the stalling had allegedly caused 16 crashes and three injuries.

"The data analysis conducted during the PE (preliminary evaluation) indicates the Focus will stall at all speeds without notice," the government agency said.

The problem was originally thought to involve about 573,585 Focuses from the 2000 and 2001 model years, but NHTSA said it was broadening the scope of its investigation because of complaints about 2002 models as well.

Ford has sought to burnish its quality image as part of a turnaround effort after posting a $5.45 billion loss last year, and it contends it has now fixed many problems with the Focus. But with Monday's announcement it has now issued 11 safety recalls for the vehicle since its introduction in 1999.

Separately, NHTSA said it had also upgraded an investigation into thousands of complaints about engines stalling without warning on Ford's Escape compact sport utility vehicle and the Tribute SUV sold by Ford's Mazda subsidiary.

The complaints involve vehicles from the 2001 and 2002 model years, NHTSA said.

Adding to a litany of vehicle safety and quality issues at Ford, NHTSA said it had also opened an engineering analysis into complaints of engine compartment fires stemming from alleged defects in a speed control deactivation switch on several full-size Ford sedans.

About 1.8 million Town Car, Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis sedans from the 1992-1997 model years were the target of that investigation, NHTSA said.

A spokesman for Ford said the world's No. 2 automaker was aware of the NHTSA investigations and cooperating with safety regulators.
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My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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