Lincoln MKC recalled for starter button placement while reaching for radio

Drivers accidentally shutting off vehicle while reaching for radio

Published: January 02, 2015 02:00 PM

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All Lincoln MKC sport-utility vehicles produced through September 2014 are subject to at least one recall due to problems that could result in the vehicle shutting off while in motion.

Ford Motor is recalling 13,574 MKCs built through September 9, 2014, due to the design and placement of the vehicle’s ignition button. The ignition button is located at the bottom of the row of gear-selector buttons, to the left of the center console’s display screen. That location places the ignition close to other controls, such as the radio buttons and touch screen. Drivers have been accidentally pressing the ignition button, resulting in the engine shutting down while the vehicle is in motion. No injuries have been reported, the automaker said.

Lincoln dealers will relocate the starter button to prevent drivers from accidentally depressing it or resting their palms on it while using the touch screen.

Learn more about NHTSA safety information at our recall page.

It may come as a surprise that a vehicle could be shut off so easily while in motion. In the wake of the Toyota unintended acceleration allegations, however, consumers said they wanted a way to deactivate the engine if a driver was unable to slow down a vehicle.

With more vehicles moving to keyless-start systems, the placement and design of those ignition buttons has resulted in some accidental-shutdown issues. Some automakers require the ignition button to be held down for several seconds, or depressed repeatedly, to shut down the car while it is in gear.

The second MKC recall, which also applies to its assembly line cousin Ford Escape, involves 337 MKC models and 11,868 Escapes built in April and May of 2014. Ford says the fuel pump in those vehicles can seize. This can result in the vehicle stalling while in motion, or failing to start. Replacement parts for the fuel delivery module should be available in February.

This is the 13th recall of the Escape since it was redesigned two years ago, and the fourth MKC recall since its rollout last spring.  

—George Kennedy

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