Ford and Mazda are embroiled in mass recalls of more than 640,000 vehicles across the US affecting their mechanically identical Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute SUV models.
A recall of 217,500 Mazda Tributes has followed an identical recall of 423,634 Ford Escapes for a speed control cable issue that could lead to a stuck throttle when the accelerator pedal is fully or almost-fully depressed, resulting in high vehicle speeds and difficulty stopping that could potentially cause a collision.
Mazda is recalling certain model year 2001 through 2006, and 2008 3.0-litre V6 Tributes due to the problem caused by inadequate clearance between the engine cover and the cruise control cable connector. Ford’s recall encompasses certain model year 2001 through 2004 Escapes with the same six-cylinder engines manufactured from October 22, 1999 to January 23, 2004.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) say the risk exists regardless of whether or not cruise control is used. The repair campaign will see the problem repaired by increasing the clearance of the engine cover, at no cost to owners.
In an irregular move, the NHTSA is continuing its investigations post recall, with both Ford and Mazda reportedly cooperating.
The scrutiny is due to the cruise control cable issue being believed to be the result of errors made during repairs relating to a 2004 recall of 470,000 Escapes and 121,000 Tributes from the 2002-4 model years, linked to a problem with the accelerator cable getting caught on the pedal.
Ford’s 2013 Escape (pictured above) has also been tied to American recall issues with two problems coming to light this month. First, 8266 model year 2013 Escapes were recalled for “mis-positioned” carpet padding that could see the centre console trim panel reduce clearance to the vehicles’ pedals, possibly increasing stopping distances and risking a collision. And second, an engine compartment fuel line on Escapes fitted with Ford’s 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine could split and leak fuel, potentially resulting in a fire.
Ford estimates approximately 11,500 of the vehicles, built from October 5, 2011 to July 11, 2012, were produced and distributed for sale in North America, with most in the US market. Again, the offending part will be replaced free charge.
Mazda Australia says the US recall issues do not affect local Tribute models. Ford Australia has been contacted for comment.