The safety agency said it received 18 complaints noting that “the liftgate window glass shattered spontaneously, while opening the liftgate or while closing the liftgate. In one alleged injury incident, the complainant and her 10 year old son were cut by glass fragments."
According to the NHTSA, many of the incidents happened during cold temperatures. The organization mentioned that Ford has issued an internal technical service bulletin to its dealers on November 22 2010 referring to broken windows in 2010-2011 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs. The bulletin said that “some 2010-2011 Escape and Mariner vehicles built on or before Oct. 15, 2010 may experience the liftgate window glass breaking, typically when colder ambient temperatures are present.”
The same document instructed dealers to “correct the condition by replacing the liftgate window glass after closely inspecting for any signs of impact or external damage that may have caused the glass breakage.” It recommended the replacement of the glass if no evidence of external damage was found.
Ford said it is aware of the investigation and will cooperate with the safety agency. The company had a similar problem in September 2004 when it recalled 955,000 Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer SUVs from the 2002 and 2003 model years after a preliminary investigation from the NHTSA revealed the two models had faulty tailgate.
By Dan Mihalascu