Why You Should Appreciate The Latest Ford Escape Recalls: Opinion Desk

By now, it’s very likely that ardent Motrolix readers know that the 2013 Ford Escape has been the subject of a whopping seven recalls, the latest of which affects 149,396 units. While that number has caused some to raise an eyebrow or two, it’s important to note that it’s not necessarily a poor reflection of the Ford Motor Company. Here’s why.

Five of the seven issues with the Escape were related to possible engine fires, and one of the two remaining recalls — which were announced this week — aim to fix the improper repairs of an earlier recall conducted by dealership technicians. Either way, the seven recalls might begin to bother consumers, and even raise questions about the quality control, at least during the time that affected vehicles were assembled, at Ford’s Louisville plant in Kentucky, which makes all Escape vehicles for the U.S. market. The recalls, however, could be as much a reflection of a potential problem at Ford as a testament to the effectiveness of today’s automotive safety regulations.

Notably, the market hasn’t reacted negatively to the Escape’s numerous recalls, as sales of the compact crossover are up 12 percent in the first 11 months of 2013 compared to the same time frame in 2012. And if profitability is any indicator, the Escape line doesn’t seem to foreshadow any troubles for Ford, as The Blue Oval has outperformed both Toyota and Volkswagen — the world’s two biggest automakers — in terms of net income over the past 12 months. This is likely explained by the fact that the Escape recalls didn’t stem from serious injuries or deaths, but are rather preemptive measures by Ford. These measures are, in turn, the results of effective automotive regulation.¬†All that is to conclude the following:

  • Ford’s numerous recalls affecting the Escape shouldn’t necessarily condemn the automaker, but instead make consumers appreciate the various automotive federal regulations that require automakers to take brisk action when a problem with a vehicle is discovered.
  • But that’s not to sugarcoat that Ford should absolutely look into improving its quality control, especially as it relates to the Escape, in order to decrease or eliminate the amount of recalls. Doing so would boost consumer confidence in Ford products even further, which in turn could boost sales.

Motrolix Founder with a passion for global automotive business strategy.

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