Stop-sale finds Ford Edge under water

Leaky SUVs are called back to dealerships for inspection and repairs

Last updated: July 16, 2015 08:45 AM

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Ford has issued a stop-sale action on its all-new 2015 Edge SUV due to water leaks. The automaker is encouraging Edge owners to bring the vehicle into their local dealership for inspection and possible repair. Meanwhile, dealers will be performing the same checks on new models in their inventory.

Customer Satisfaction Program 15B21 aims to minimize potential damage from water leaks that could require more extensive repairs down the road. This affects 2015 model-year Edges produced through April 28, 2015, including the Edge we’re in the midst of testing. Those built after are not affected. (Read our Ford Edge first drive.)

The concern is that water may seep into the cabin through the sheetmetal joint in the front pillar, directly behind the hood hinge on both sides of the vehicle. When the problem occurs, water enters the cabin at the lower A-pillar areas behind the lower dash trim panels.

The service technicians are directed to look for dampness in the front and/or rear carpeting, floor pan sheetmetal, dash panel, console insulation, and the lower A-pillar area. This work is expected to take half a day.

During a routine evaluation, we noticed that the carpet in our test car was wet. Initially, we thought someone may have left the window open. After a closer look, we realized nothing else was wet. The mystery was solved when we found the notice from Ford.

Upon hearing about this action, we brought our new Ford Edge over to the Auto Test Center car wash bay. Sure enough, hosing the SUV down led to a sopping wet floor on the driver’s side. Given the dark carpet, there wasn’t a significant visual cue, but the carpet was more than damp. We let the vehicle air out over the weekend, and it dried up by Monday.

Among the concerns, a small, unnoticed leak could lead to mold and mildew, in addition to potential electrical problems due to corrosion of connectors.

For vehicles without evidence of a leak, the dealership will apply a urethane sealer in the A-pillar seams. SUVs found to have a leak will be held for a three-day assessment, including inspection, repair, time for the sealant to dry, and then test to confirm the fix worked. Depending on the damage, technicians are given instructions to replace a range of related components, such as carpeting. Dealers are authorized to provide a loaner vehicle to cover the three-day period.

It's interesting to note that vehicles that do have evidence of water damage after the three-day procedure may qualify for a buy back. Customers would need to work through their customer service rep on the details.

Ford has notified affected owners, and consumers can contact their local dealership to schedule an inspection and repair.

Ford says that Edges at dealerships that have been fixed, and those built after April 28, can be sold and delivered.

Jeff Bartlett

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