Ford pays $17.35 million for slow recall of SUVs
The fine is linked to the July 2012 recall of almost 485,000 Ford Escape SUVs, model years 2001 to 2004. Those cars were recalled to fix sticking gas pedals that could cause crashes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) contends that Ford knew about the problem in May of 2011 but failed to take action until the agency began investigating the Escapes in July of 2012. The probe was started after a teenage Arizona girl died in an Escape crash in January of last year.
NHTSA said that Ford agreed to the recall in late July of 2012, just a week after investigators asked for information on the Escapes. After Ford turned over the data, NHTSA found evidence that Ford responded slowly and told the company it would investigate. Ford then agreed to the fine, NHTSA said.
At the time of the recall, NHTSA said it had 68 complaints about the Escape problem with 13 crashes, nine injuries and one death. ■