Monday

What's going on with Ford Escape rear windows breaking at unusually high frequency rate

Rear windows breaking at high rate - How come?
While we normally don't talk about recalls here, every once in a while we become aware of federal safety investigations that are "ahead" of the recall process and which are serious enough that consumers need to be aware of them - so they can be careful and perhaps even avoid buying problem cars or defective trucks. This is one of those situations.

So, what's up with the 2011 Ford Escape? And is the problem only with the 2011 model? What did they do to fix it after that model year started? And when did Ford first realize it was a problem?

It, is the unusual number of windows that are breaking in the early model year 2011 Focus vehicles. After four months of investigation by federal safety investigators, the investigation was closed with no explanation of the defect or its cause. Ford, no doubt, smiled. Meanwhile, consumers should be concerned.

Here's the official announcement by federal safety investigators:

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 incidents occurred 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.

So, the proven fact seems to be that if you open the liftgate, the glass can break. And if you close the liftgate, the glass can break. Either way, it shouldn't be happening. And Ford has no idea why it happens more often here than with the earlier model year Escape vehicles.

But almost 300 consumers reported the breaking glass and 18 injuries occurred from the breaking glass in the Ford Escape.

Perhaps to take care of the complaints, or short circuit the recall process, Ford issued a secret warranty under its technical service bulletin process to make repairs for free in the 2010 and 2011 model year Escape vehicles. And the whole problem all quietly just stopped.

Is your 2011 Ford Escape safe? How about your 2010 Ford Escape? Will the liftgate window shatter for no apparent reason?

And if it does, will your dealer fix it - or should you even have to wonder?

If you've got a lemon Ford Escape, don't take a chance. If your dealer won't take care of you, call our toll free lemon Ford Escape Hotline at 1.888.331.6422 or email us right now by clicking here info@uslemonlawyers.com.

Getting rid of lemon Ford vehicles is what we do. Making Ford pay our attorney fees (instead of you), well that's only fair. After all, they built it.

Burdge Law Office
Because life is too short to drive a lemon Ford