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Ford Escape recall addresses door handle issue

Wed, 14 May 2014

Ford is recalling Escape SUVs from the 2013 and 2014 model years for a problem that can make the doors difficult to close or -- more ominously -- can cause the doors to open while driving. A total of 581,986 SUVs made between October 5, 2013, and April 10, 2014, are affected; Ford blames the recall on assembly misalignment between the exterior door handle and the door outer panel.

The danger of this assembly issue involves the possibility of an unbelted passenger falling out of the SUV, though Ford has not indicated that any such incident has occurred.

The third generation Ford Escape has been on sale since April 2012 and has previously been recalled for close pedal placement, as well as a faulty fuel line that posed a fire risk.

Ford is planning to notify owners of the affected vehicles starting May 26, and it will have dealers inspect and correct the mounting of the door handles at no cost to the owners. Ford Escape owners can contact Ford customer service at 1-800-392-3673 and use the recall code 14S03 for this issue. Owners can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or visit the Recalls and Defects section of the NHTSA website.

By Jay Ramey