Ford Focus

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Ford's Trouble Prone Focus Hit With Safety Recalls & Investigations

With 9 safety recalls to date and 6 defect investigations, the Ford Focus is proving to be an embarrassment to Ford Motor Company and its new President William Clay Ford, who are trying to stress quality in the wake of the Ford Explorer/Firestone ATX, Wilderness AT tire debacle.

Not since General Motors introduced its ill-fated X-car in 1980 (Buick Skylark, Chevrolet Citation, Oldsmobile Omega and Pontiac Phoenix) which had 13 recalls in its first two years has a manufacturer had so many recalls. Among the Focus recalls are 351,000 2000 models whose roof pillars can cause head injuries in crashes and 203,700 2000 models whose left rear wheel falls off.

The Focus' sinking reputation was further hammered hard by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's announcement of 6 major investigations from February to May 2002. Evening up the wheel problem, NHTSA launched a new investigation into wheels falling off the 2000 models, only this time it was both right and left rear wheels. Airbags that deployed inadvertently and that burned drivers were the subjects of two investigation in 2000-01 models. The 2000 model was hit with a investigation into engine compartment fires, which has now been upgraded to cover 2001-02 models as well. 2000-01 models are being investigated for engine stalling. 2000-2002 models are under investigation for collapse of the front suspension.

In November 1999, CAS wrote then Chairman William Clay Ford and warned him about Ford overall reputation for poor quality and covering up defects to avoid recalls. The Focus fiasco shows Mr. Ford has a long row to hoe before he can restore some of the luster to his great grandfather's company.

Focus Recalls - Click here for full summaries of the recalls shown below.

Recall ID

No.Vehicles

Model Year

Defect

99V-346

31,000

2000

Speed Control

00V-218

351,000

2000

Roof pillar

00V-302

28,800

2000

Speed control

00V-303

203,700

2000

Wheel hub

00V-411

74,500

2000

Tail lamp

00V-418

95,000

2000-01

Seats

01V-108

8,500

2000

Seats

01V-258

1,083,000

2000-01

Wiper Motor

02V-117

534

2002

Speed Control

Focus Investigations

Investigation: PE02-016
Model Year: 2000
Subject: Rear Wheel Bearing Failure
-Rear wheel bearings may fail, causing rear wheel to loosen and separate from vehicle.

Investigation: PE02-020
Model Year: 2000-01
Subject: Air Bag Burn Injuries/Vehicle Fires
-Air bag deployment may cause burn injuries and vehicle fires.

Investigation: PE02-026
Model Year: 2000-01
Subject: Inappropriate Air Bag Deployment
-Air bags may deploy in low speed impacts, causing injury.

Investigation: EA02-014, PE02-032
Model Year: 2000-02
Subject: Electrical System, Engine Compartment Fires
-Fires start in the battery area of the engine compartment.

Investigation: PE02-040
Model Year: 2000-01
Subject: Engine and Engine Cooling System
-Engine stalls

Investigation: PE02-044
Model Year: 2000-02
Subject: Front Suspension Lower Control Failure
- Front suspension may collapse, causing loss of control and crash.


 

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