2011 Ford Escape
NHTSA Defect Investigations
The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2011 Ford Escape, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:
INVESTIGATION: Electronic Throttle Body Malfunction
NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE13003
Summary: On February 21, 2013, the Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) opened Preliminary Evaluation PE13-003 to investigate allegations of electronic throttle body (ETB) failures resulting in sudden reduction of engine power in model year (MY) 2009-2013 Ford Escape, Fusion, Mariner and Milan vehicles. During this investigation, Ford identified a condition in subject vehicles equipped with 2.5L and 3.0L engines that may result in a sudden reduction of engine power.According to Ford, the ETB internal motor contacts may develop a high resistance material buildup condition on the commutator, resulting in intermittent electrical connectivity and reduced engine power. When this condition occurs, the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) or Wrench light will illuminate and the vehicle may enter a limited limp home mode.Ford-€™s trade name for the feature is Failure Mode Effects Management (FMEM) mode.In this mode, engine power and vehicle speed are reduced, while full function of the power steering, power braking, lighting, and climate control systems are maintained.ODI-€™s complaint analysis indicate that the predominant failure mode involved reduced motive power associated with the limited limp home mode with engine speeds limited to approximately 900 RPM. Analysis of warranty claims provided by Ford identified 59,807 claims related to ETB replacements and approximately 50 percent of claims are associated with diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) P2111, "Throttle Body Stuck Open", and P2112, "Throttle Body Stuck Closed".Ford described several factors where the ETB motor may fail resulting in DTCs P2111 or P2112 but the failure is not an existing stuck open or closed ETB valve position.According to Ford, the ETB control strategy provides the driver with three FMEM modes that allow varying degrees of vehicle mobility depending on the severity of the fault detected.DTCs associated with stuck open or closed throttle valves are designated the highest failure severity resulting in engine speeds limited to high idle corresponding to the limited limp home mode.Vehicles are not likely to unexpectedly stall as a result of this condition, but drivers may characterize the reduced functionality as a stall, even though their vehicle may still has motive capability.Other FMEM limp modes may result in reduced engine performance but will maintain vehicle speed above 20mph. During this investigation, Ford and its suppliers, Delphi and Igarashi, updated the powertrain control module (PCM) software to include a throttle body motor cleaning cycle during key-on and modified the ETB internal motor components design, surface finish and material composition to improve durability. Additionally, Ford developed a remedy procedure and issued a special Customer Satisfaction Program (CSP) 13N03 extending the ETB warranty coverage and instructing dealers to update the powertrain calibration to improve vehicle performance in the event that intermittent electrical connectivity of the throttle body motor contacts occurs. The program extends the coverage for up to 10 years of service or 150,000 miles from the warranty start date of the vehicle, all vehicles are eligible for the program through January 31, 2015 regardless of mileage.Owners of the affected vehicles will be contacted by mail to take their vehicle to a Ford dealer who will reprogram the PCM to the latest calibration. The bulletin was sent to dealers on January 17, 2014 and the owner letter mailing began on January 27, 2014. See the investigative file for copies of Ford's bulletin and owner letter. This preliminary evaluation is closed. The closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding that a safety-related defect does not exist. For additional information regarding this investigation, see complete closing resume in the document file for PE13-003.
INVESTIGATION: Electronic Throttle Body Malfunction
NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP12006
Summary: In a letter dated August 30, 2012, The North Carolina Consumers Council (NCCC) petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to initiate a defect investigation of alleged electronic throttle body failures resulting in engine stall or surge while driving in model year (MY) 2005 through 2012 Ford Escape vehicles. On October 2, 2012 the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened a Defect Petition DP12-006 to evaluate whether to grant or deny the petition. The petition is hereby granted on certain model years. The NCCC letter cites two complaints of stall while driving in MY 2009 Ford Escape vehicles that were diagnosed as failed throttle bodies with diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) P2111, Throttle Body Stuck Open, and P2112, Throttle Body Stuck Closed. The petitioner indicates that the owners of both vehicles reported experiencing repeated incidents of stalling and engine surging. According to Ford, Escape non-hybrid vehicles are equipped with Electronic Throttle Body (ETB) assemblies beginning with MY 2009. Vehicles manufactured between June 22, 2009 and October 15, 2009 may contain contaminated printed circuit boards (PCB) with plating variations. Plating variations could lead to a lack of continuity in the throttle position sensor circuit where P2111 and/or other DTCs would be generated and stored. Ford and its electronic throttle body supplier, Delphi, modified the PCB manufacturing process and issued a technical service bulletin (TSB) 09-23-5. Vehicles produced after October 15, 2009 incorporated ETBs manufactured with a PCB process that resolved this condition. ODI's analysis identified a total of 123 unique reports indicating allegations of reduced motive power or vehicle stall. Depending on the condition of throttle control system malfunction, a driver may experience varying levels of reduced engine performance associated with three limp home modes. In two limp modes, reduced engine performance may maintain vehicle speeds above 20mph while the third is a limited limp home mode with engine speeds limited to approximately 900 RPM. Allegations of stall appear to be related to the limited limp home mode. Vehicles are not likely to unexpectedly stall as a result of this condition, but drivers may characterize the reduced functionality as a stall, even though their vehicle may still has motive capability. Allegations of vehicle surge appear to be related to limp home mode operation. Complaints alleging surge are most likely related to engine RPM fluctuations at low vehicle speeds or idle as the control system engages to prevent engine stall. In limited limp mode, rough-idle conditions may exist while the control system attempts to modulate engine RPMs once the vehicle reaches a reduced speed to maintain approximately 900 RPM. Separately, ODI received 59 complaints alleging incidents of engine stall while driving in model year (MY) 2010-2011 Ford Fusion vehicles. Approximately 60 percent (36) of the incidents occurred at speeds of 40 miles per hour or more. Eighty percent of complaints (47) were received beginning March 2012 and 14 complaints reported that the throttle body was replaced or DTCs associated with limp home modes. Additionally, Ford issued TSB 10-21-6 addressing DTCs associated with idle speed drops and limited limp home mode. The petition is granted on certain model years.Preliminary Evaluation PE13-003 has been opened to assess the scope, frequency and potential safety consequences associated with the alleged defect.See full copy of the closing resume for this defect petition for list of the VOQs associated with the defect petition analysis.
INVESTIGATION: Loss of power steering while driving
NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP15001
Component(s): Steering:Electric Power Assist System
Summary: On May 27, 2014, amended June 2, 2014, Ford Motor Company (Ford) submitted a Defect Information Report (DIR) to NHTSA describing a safety defect that may result in a sudden loss of power steering assist while driving in approximately 746,067 model year (MY) 2008 through 2011 Ford Escape vehicles equipped with electric power assisted steering (NHTSA 14V-284, Ford 14S05). Ford's DIR described the defect condition as "a poor signal to noise ratio [SNR] in the torque sensor" within the Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) system [which] "does not allow the PSCM to determine the driver's steering input." When the system detects this fault condition, it transitions the EPAS system to the fail-safe/manual steering mode.Ford's DIR indicates that loss of power steering assist while driving would require higher steering effort at lower vehicle speeds, which may result in an increased risk of a crash.Ford's remedy instructs dealers to check the Power Steering Control Module (PSCM) for Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) to determine the proper repair procedure. If no DTCs are present, dealers are to update the PSCM and instrument cluster module software. The updated PSCM software changes the torque sensor fault strategy so that the SNR condition does not result in a loss of power steering assist while driving.In addition, audible and visual warnings are provided for torque sensor faults.If DTCs indicating faults in the torque sensor, PSCM or Power Steering Motor (motor) are present in the initial recall inspection, the dealer performs the following repairs: 1) replaces the torque sensor for torque sensor faults (DTC B2278); or 2) replaces the steering column for faults related to the PSCM (DTC B1342) or motor (DTC B2277).Continued in attachment pages
INVESTIGATION: Rear Liftgate Window Glass Breakage
NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE11016
Structure:Body:Hatchback/Liftgate:Hinge And Attachments
Summary: In its response to the agency, Ford acknowledged a higher than normal level of glass breakage incidents in the model year (MY) 2010 to early-build MY 2011 subject vehicles.The incidentsoccurred when the liftgate glass was being opened, or more typically while being closed, but in both cases while the vehicle was stationery, i.e., not moving on the roadway.Additionally failures often occurred during early morning hours when ambient and/or liftgate glass temperatures may have been lower.Ford advised that it investigated the failures but failed to identify an anomaly in the glass manufacturing process (which is often a factor in glass breakage trends ODI investigates) that could explain the reports.It did however identify a potential thermal expansion/compression condition in the mounting of the rear wiper motor to the liftgate glass.Starting at MY 2008 vehicle production the motor was attached to the glass using an adhesive.Ford revised that design to a "nut and bolt" type attachment in October 2010, during MY 2011 vehicle production.ODI's review of Ford data indicates that vehicles built after this change exhibit lower glass breakage rates.Among the 296 consumer complaints on the subject vehicles, ODI identified 15 injury incidents resulting in a total of 18 alleged injuries.All the injuries were minor in nature and consisted mainly of superficial skin cuts or minor lacerations, with two of the injury incidents occurring when vehicle owners were cleaning up broken glass.Additionally both the injury rate and report rate (including warranty claims) are low in comparison to similar investigations resulting in safety recalls (see PE04-045, MY 2002 Ford explorer liftgate glass failure, which resulted in NHTSA safety recall 04V442). In November 2010 Ford issued Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) 10-22-10 to address reports of liftgate glass breakage on all MY 2010 vehicles, and MY 2011 vehicles built through 10/15/2010, the date the above design revision was implemented.The TSB enables owners of affected vehicles to have a broken liftgate glass replaced under normal vehicle warranty, which would not otherwise be a warrantable failure, with the revised design liftgate glass.A safety-related defect has not been identified at this time and further use of agency resources does not appear to be warranted.Accordingly, this investigation is closed.The closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist.The agency will monitor this issue and reserves the right to take further action if warranted by the circumstances.