Recalls continue to plague Ford

The return to prominence of Big Three automakers Ford, Chrysler and General Motors has been well-documented. During the depths of the recession, Detroit-based car makers were hit extremely hard, as consumers became much more reluctant to buy new vehicles. Over the past few years, however, these automakers have appeared to be making strides in the right direction in terms of sales, but looming concerns like safety recalls have remained problematic. 

The Chicago Tribune reports that the latest of the Big Three to encounter recall issues is Ford Motor Company. Ford, the second-largest U.S. automaker, is reportedly issuing a global recall of approximately 3,500 Taurus, Explorer and Lincoln MKS vehicles in order to fix fuel tanks that feature a seam that was not properly molded, according to the news source. The major concern with the potentially defective fuel tanks, the automaker said, was that they could leak following a serious crash.

Though Ford said that it was not aware of any accidents or injuries directly related to the fuel tank manufacturing issue, the automaker noted that as of February 28, it had received a total of six reports related to a fuel order or leak coming from the tanks, the Tribune reported.

Kelli Felker, a spokeswoman for Ford, told the media outlet that the vast majority – more than 3,000 – of the recalled vehicles are in the U.S. They reportedly include the 2012 Taurus and Lincoln MKS sedans, and the 2013 Explorer SUV. 

Recalls a growing concern
For Ford, the month of March has not been kind from the recall perspective. On March 7, Felker announced that the automaker was recalling approximately 196,500 of its 2004-2007 Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans due to a corrosion issue that did not allow drivers to safely lock in third-row seats, according to the New York Times. In a report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Ford said that while the risk of accident or injury was limited, it had agreed to issue the recall in order to “avoid a protracted dispute with the agency.” 

Often, when issues like these crop up, automakers are able to pinpoint the root of the cause – which tends to be the manufacturing process. With only three years to come up with an idea, design and manufacture a line of vehicles, car makers are pressed for time and need to test their products in a smart, efficient manner using the most cutting edge technology. This “smart testing” can reduce warranty costs and extend product life, allowing automakers to increase their profitability.