I experienced a complete stall of my 2002 Mazda Tribute twice in the last two days. I was approaching a stop and traveling downhill both times. It was very frightening since I had to use the emergency break to stop on the second stall. I called the Mazda dealership here. The service rep thought it might be the Idle Air Control Motor based on his extensive experience with Mazdas. (This motor keeps the idle going when the vehicle is approaching a stop.) Sure enough, that's what it was. It was covered by the warranty so it didn't cost a dime and a new one was installed within 45 minutes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety folks are investigating stalling for both model years. There are lots of consumer complaints on thier web site for each yar (total of about 200). (anyone who has this problem who hasnt seen that web site should - its the Federal Safety agency) What is interesting just now is that they closed one investigation one Sept 10, 2002 and immediately opened another the very same day. Im not certain why they did this or what it means. Does anyone know?
Steve_Host and Howard,
Some folks on another Escape site said that the one that is closed, PE###, was the "preliminary evaluation" the one that opened on the same day is EA###, "engineering evaluation". Hopefully, for the sake of everyone's safety, it will reach "DP###" which is defefect petition/recall.
-begin vent- Personally, I don't care if it makes Ford bankrupt, I want what I paid for, a vehicle that drives, not stalls. Besides, wouldn't us tax payers just bail them out like we did with Chrysler in the 80's? -end vent-
Scape2, thanks for the tip. I am almost at 6,000 miles and it's interesting to hear you had creaking at 5,000. My creaking seems to come from the front doors though--I don't think I'd be hearing it up where I'm driving so much if it was the rear hatch. However, I'm not mechanically inclined. Had the rear wiper replaced recently--first one wasn't clearing the glass--so maybe it is worth looking at the rear hatch.
This is a letter sent by the Ford Motor Company to NHTSA as part of their investigation. Note that I did not edit it in any way, just scanned it in.You will be relieved to know that Ford herein states that while undesirable, "it does not represent an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety". Note that Ford elsewhere indicates that as of the end of Jan 2002 (when this investigation was presented to Ford aparently) a total of 230,658 subject vehicles had been produced. Note this when doing the math as per the figures that follow:
April 12, 2002
Ms. Kathleen C. DeMeter, Director
Office of Defects Investigation Safety Assurance
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
400 Seventh Street, S. W.
Washington, DC 20590
Dear Ms. DeMeter:
Enclosed is Ford?s response to your February 1, 2002 letter requesting information relating to 3.OL V6 engine stalling complaints on 2001 through 2002 model year Ford Escape vehicles. Complete answers to Requests I through 4, 6 and 7 and a partial answer to Request 5 were provided in our March 15, 2002 response. Complete answers to Requests 5 and 8 are attached.
Ford does not believe that engine stalling in the subject vehicles presents an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety. This is consistent with the Agency?s findings in an earlier engine stalling study entitled ?Analysis of Stalling Problems,? prepared by The Transportation Systems Center (Report No. HE7021S7502). Of the 4,162 reports and claims involving approximately 3,627 alleged stalling occurrences, there have been no collisions with other vehicles. None of the reports submitted by Ford in response to this information request alleges a fatality. One report alleges some tire, suspension and steering damage. Another report makes no mention of vehicle damage but claims the customer was injured twice; the injuries are not specified. Ford has not verified that either of the incidents are in any way actually related to engine stalling. Even if Ford accepts that both of these reports are ?accidents? this results in an accident rate of 0.086 per 10,000 vehicles and an injury rate of 0.043 per 10,000 vehicles. While acknowledging that stalling is not desirable, Ford concurs with the Agency?s PE98-057 closing resume position that ?... there is no data indicating that occupants of a stalled (subject vehicle] are exposed to greater risk of injury due to the [stalling] condition.? This is also consistent with closures in other safety investigations of engine stalling where the Agency concluded that even with a high number of reports of stalling the risk of injury or fatality is low.
Our analysis of the data submitted to the Agency resulting from this investigation has identified many potential causal factors that can result in the engine stalling. Some of these are not associated with the design or manufacture of the subject vehicles?such as running out of gas, contaminated fuel and poor vehicle maintenance, to name a few. However, Ford has identified four potential root causes involving the design and/or manufacture of certain components on the subject vehicle that may account for approximately 90% of the alleengine stalling incidents provided to the Agency in our March 15, 2002 response. These potential root causes are: 1) a sticking pintle within the Idle Air Control Valve (lACy); 2) a malfunctioning check valve in the On-board Refueling Vapor Recovery System (ORVRS);
3) power interruptions to the Power Control Module (PCM) involving the PCM Power Relay; and, 4) power interruptions to the PCM caused by loose or out-of-position connectors in the Power Distribution Box (PDB). Ford has instituted design, supplier resourcing, and manufacturing process changes to correct or minimize the effects of these four conditions on engine performance as it relates to stalling. Directions on how to address these issues have been sent to our dealers by prior service messages and will be the subject of a Technical Service Bulletin to be published later this month.
As a result of an extensive ongoing investigation into these four causal factors, Ford has determined that the vehicles will restart in almost every occurrence. A telephone survey by Ford personnel of 64 customers of 3.OL V6 Escape vehicles that alleged engine stalling, and a similar survey by Mazda personnel of 97 customers of 3.OL V6 Tribute vehicles, found that more than 95% of the owners have been able to restart the engine immediately after the stall, some without even stopping the vehicle. Only in rare instances would factor #4 result in a no restart condition.
Ford agrees with the Agency?s observation, as stated in a previous resume for PE98-057, that when an engine stalls while the vehicle is in motion, which is true of nearly all of the complaints on the subject vehicles, ?[t]his gives the driver time and momentum with which to maneuver onto the roadway shoulder, away from traffic lanes.?t Although this condition may be undesirable, it does not represent an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety.
If you have any further questions, please contact me.
James P. Vondale
1)Can some one explain to me how flashing the PMC would fix the four faulty conditions that Ford mentioned as root cause?
2)If your vehicle is in middle lane of busy three-lane highway and it is stalling, would you have enough time and momentum to steer your vehicle to either side? If not, does it pose an undue risk to the vehicle itself and/or other vehicles behind you? I am not talking about who is at fault for not stopping the vehicle in time but about the risk of causing an accident to yourself or others....