Ford agreed to pay the maximum of $17.35 million fine after it reached settlement with NHTSA over the recall of older Escape vehicles in 2012.
In August, Ford recalled around 423,000 Escape vehicles 2001 through 2004 model years in the US due to an issue which might have caused the gas pedal to remain pressed down even after the driver had lifted the foot. The recalled Escapes were fitted with 3.0-liter V6 engines and speed control. The NHTSA said that the US automaker waited too long to notify its customers of this issue and decided to resort to legal action.
“We are absolutely committed to addressing potential vehicle issues and responding quickly for our customers,” a Ford spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement today. “We take the safety of our customers seriously and continuously evaluate our processes for improvements. Ford agreed to this settlement to avoid a lengthy dispute with the government.”
The NHSTA settlement, released on June 28th, also included Mazda which in 2012 recalled 217,000 Tribute vehicles from the 2001-2006 and 2008 model years. A pokesman for Mazda said the automaker was not involved in the settlement between NHTSA and Ford.
“We are unaware of a fine directed towards Mazda, but will, as always, work closely with NHTSA,” the spokesman said.