It seems that the hard winter in much of the country has been as rough on some Fords as it has on many people. The Blue Oval is recalling roughly 434,000 vehicles in two separate recalls, and one of them partially caused by the salt used to melt the snow on roads.
The first recall covers 385,750 2001-2004 Escape models in the Midwest, Northeast and Canada because a subframe could rust and eventually fail. This is partially due to the road salt used in those areas, and about 349,000 of the affected vehicles are in the US. To remedy the problem, dealers are installing a reinforcement cross brace on the frame to strengthen them. There has been one crash caused by the failure but no injuries. According to The Detroit News, this is not the first rust-related recall for Ford. It estimates the company has repaired over two million vehicles since 2010 for problems on vehicles related to the iron oxide, including the rear wheel wells of the Freestar minivan.
The second recall covers 48,950 2013-2014 Ford Fusion, Escape, C-MAX and Lincoln MKZ models because welds in their seatbacks don't meet National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standards. The fault affects the front seats, and the sub-standard welds joining the seatback to the recliner could increase the chance on injury. There have been no reported injuries or accidents caused by the problem, but there are 42,972 affected vehicles in the US and 4,744 in Canada.
We've contacted Ford for more details about when it plans to begin repairing the affected vehicles, and we'll update this story when we hear back.