NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2012 Ford Escape

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 2012 Ford Escape, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. Electronic Throttle Body Malfunction NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE13003

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: February 21, 2013
    • Date Closed: February 28, 2014
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Engine

    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.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE13003 »

  2. Electronic Throttle Body Malfunction NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP12006

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: October 02, 2012
    • Date Closed: February 21, 2013
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Engine

    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.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #DP12006 »

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