NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

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 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. 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 »

  2. Electric power steering assist failure NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP15001

    • Status:
      OPEN
    • Date Opened: April 01, 2015
    • Date Closed: Pending
    • Recall: possible recall

    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 740,878 model year (MY) 2008 through 2011 Ford Escape vehicles equipped with electric power assisted steering (NHTSA 14V-284, Ford 14S05).Ford's DIR describes the defect condition as "a poor signal to noise ratio in the torque sensor within the Electric Power Steering (EPS) system [which] does not allow the PSCM to determine the driver's steering input."When the system detects this fault condition, it transitions the EPS 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 will update the PSCM and instrument cluster module software.The updated PSCM software changes the torque sensor fault strategy to no longer remove power steering assist while driving for a single torque sensor fault and provide audible and visual warnings to the driver if a torque sensor fault is detected.If certain loss of steering assist DTCs are present during the initial recall inspection, the dealer will either replace the torque sensor or the PSCM, depending on the DTC present.The Ford remedy is designed to reduce the possibility of a sudden loss of power steering while the vehicle is being driven.Subsequent failures of the EPS torque sensor of PCSM would not result in sudden loss of power steering assist while driving, but would provide audible and visual warnings to the driver that EPS service is required.If the system is not promptly serviced after warning symptoms appear, power assist may not be available upon subsequent key-"ON" vehicle start-up.Ford does not provide assistance for repairs in this circumstance under the safety recall.On February 5, 2015, ODI received a petition "for a Determination of Whether Ford Motor Company ("Ford") Reasonably Met its Obligation to Remedy Recall14S05 regarding certain 2008-[2011] Model Year Escape and Mariner Vehicles" from an owner of a vehicle that experience a torque sensor failure after receiving the remedy for 14V-284 (VOQ 10670665).The petitioner alleges that the software update provided by Ford's recall does not adequately remedy the safety defect and that "the software update itself may in fact cause further issues with the affected vehicle's power steering, causing it to fail, and ultimately requiring replacement of the torque sensor or entire steering column."ODI will evaluate the information provided by the petitioner and make a grant or deny decision.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #DP15001 »

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