Ford recalls 2.9 million vehicles, saying they might roll while in park

The company is recalling Escape, Fusion, C-Max, Edge and Transit Connect vehicles from various years

The chance of a "unintentional rollaway," according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, can force the vehicle to "move in an unexpected direction." (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Ford Motor Company has warned that some of its cars and trucks could hit people and cause injury after a driver parked, prompting the company to significantly expand its ongoing recall effort. 
 Ford says it is recalling 2.9 million multi-year Escape, Fusion, C-Max, Edge and Transit Connect vehicles due to a potential defect in the part that attaches the gearshift cable to the transmission. 
 If this part, called the bushing, is damaged or missing, the vehicle may fail to shift into its intended gear without signaling to the driver that something is off, increasing the risk when parking or when driving, the company said. 

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 In a letter to the company Tuesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cited the risk of "unintentional movement" and noted that the issue could also cause vehicles to move in an unexpected direction."

Ford said it is aware of four reports of injuries that could be linked to the issue.

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In a regulatory document on Friday, Ford stated, "The driver does not receive a warning message or audible chime." The business stated that leaving the vehicle in park without the parking brake engaged could allow it to continue moving, "raising the risk of injury or crash."

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"The driver may potentially discover the flaw if they attempt to shift to an intended gear and the vehicle responds differently than expected," Ford added.

Ford said the possibly problematic component had already been recalled in a more targeted manner, including in 192,000 Transit Connect vehicles last year.

Ford said it received additional documentation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in April about problems drivers had with the defect "that Ford was not previously aware of," and that its analysis revealed "a change in the consumer complaint data" that prompted it to take action.

The company said the fault forecast remains low, but it has decided to recall the remaining vehicles in North America with the affected parts. Ford estimates that 1% of the 2.9 million vehicles recalled are at fault.

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 Ford will replace the part and add a protective cap, he said. 
 NHTSA says the recall applies to certain 2013-2019 Escapes vehicles; C-Max 2013-2018; consolidated 2013-2016; Edge car 2015-2018; and Transition Connection 2013-2021.

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