Ford CEO Alan Mulally disappointed by Escape recalls image

Ford CEO Alan Mulally said he’s disappointed about last year’s four recalls of the Escape SUV.

The executive explained those recalls by Ford’s struggles to meet growing demand and introduce new engine technologies. “We’re very disappointed that happened on a fantastic new vehicle. This is a company that’s going up in production for the first time in years,” Mulally was quoted as saying by Bloomberg at the Detroit motor show.

Ford’s top-selling SUV, the 2013 Escape has been recalled four times since it was introduced in May. The new Fusion sedan was recalled twice since it debuted in October 2012. Mulally said Ford learned from every one of the Escape recalls, which were caused by both technical and manufacturing issues.

This has allowed the company to better fix glitches in advanced engines that use direct injection and turbo charging in order to improve fuel economy. “You do all the testing and all the analytical work and you learn that there were a couple of modes in there that we didn’t anticipate. So we have added that into our procedures so we’ll catch them the next time. They’re very sophisticated products,” Mulally said.

The recalls affected sales of the Escape and Fusion in December, with Escape deliveries down 21 percent to 20,131.