What if your brand new vehicle had defective brakes? Most California consumers would be pretty upset. As it turns out, this is the case for one popular sports utility vehicle. Did you know that Ford is recalling almost 8,300 of its 2013 Escapes in the United States? The recall stems from an auto defect in which improperly installed carpeting can potentially interfere with a driver's application of the brake pedal in the vehicle.
The automaker has reported that carpeting may result in the driver's foot contacting the side of the brake pedal. Specifically, in transferring the foot from the accelerator to the brake, this carpet could cause increased stopping distances.
This month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received two complaints from owners about the problem.
One owner has complained that the gas pedal is too close to the brake. As a result, when the motorist wears big shoes and lifts a foot off of the gas pedal, the left side of the driver's shoe catches the back of the brake pedal.
A spokesperson from Ford indicates that the company began building the recalled model in early April; however, the recall also covers some models that date back to the beginning of March.
While Ford categorizes the recall as voluntary, once a manufacturer is aware of a safety problem, the company has five working days to inform a safety agency of its plan for a recall. If it does not, the manufacturer faces potential civil fines.
Hopefully, Ford will address any problems and ensure that all vehicles are safe for consumers. In the meantime, the manufacturer should make sure all future model creations are up to transportation standards.
Source: The New York Times, "Ford Recalls 8,300 New Ford Escapes for Carpeting That Interferes With Brake," Christopher Jensen, July 16, 2012