December 17, 2012—Ford Motor Company recalled about 16,000 Fusions and 73,000 Escape SUVs due to engine problems that could lead to fires, but the company now claims to have developed an after-market software fix that will solve the problem, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Recall Issues With Ford Vehicles

The problem affects 2013 models with a 1.6-liter engine.  Only four-cylinder engines are affected.  The software update is available for both the SE and SEL models.

The software updates theoretically manage engine temperatures during overheating.  The company is stressing that these overheating issues only occur during very specific conditions, and that the software manages the engine during that set of circumstances.  Other overheating problems are not believed to lead to possible fires.  The software will be made available soon to customer through Ford dealerships.  The update may take a half day to install.  Ford promises to provide alternative transportation for any Fusion or Escape owners of the pertinent vehicles if they will turn in their vehicles immediately to the dealership.

This recall follows one only a week earlier by Ford for 19,000 Fusions for low-beam headlight problems.  The 2013 Fusions had insufficiently coated and cured headlamps that may lead to decreased visibility and the risk of an accident.

What Do Recalls Accomplish?

For Ford owners who get information about a recall and comply with the recall notification, these procedures can help keep them safe and prevent accidents.  Unfortunately, recall notices do not always reach the people for whom they are intended.

When a car company issues a recall, they attempt to contact anyone who owns the vehicle in question.  However, if the vehicle has been sold or transferred to someone else, that person may not receive the notice because the company does not have contact information for him or her.

Recalls are designed to protect the consumer, but they are also designed to protect the company.  The idea behind a recall is that it will prevent serious accidents that could result in injury or death for a driver or passenger.  However, recalls do not change the fact that a company can still be held liable for the damages that result from a defective car.

Liability Issues

Ford Motor Company may still be held liable for any injuries or deaths caused by the defects in their products, whether or not an owner knows about the defects.  If anyone is hurt by the problems with the Escape or the Fusion, the company may be liable if the collision or accident was caused by these defects.

A personal injury lawyer can help the victims who have been injured by a defective product such as a vehicle.  Manufacturers have a legal duty to ensure that their products are safe.  When a manufacturer releases a defective product, a personal injury attorney represents those who are injured as a result of using these products.  Anyone injured by a defective product should immediately contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation.