Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is recalling over 692,000 Escape sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and C-Max hybrids in North America to resolve potential safety issues. Kelli Felker, spokesperson for the automaker, said it is possible that more vehicles sold in other markets were affected by the problems.
The second largest automaker in the United States said the recall covers Escape SUVs and C-Max models from 2013 and 2014. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) wants to fix possible software and door-handle problems in the vehicles.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) said 595,000 of the recalled vehicles were sold in the United States and its territories, 78,000 were sold in Canada, and approximately 19,500 in Mexico.
Software and door handle problems
The software glitch could potentially delay the deployment of the side curtain airbags in certain types of rollover accidents. According to Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), there were no accidents or injuries reported related to the problem. The automaker said dealers will reprogram the air bag control computer in the vehicles for free.
The automaker said the problem in the exterior door handles of the vehicles could bind and prevent the door from latching properly. The issue might cause the doors to open while the vehicles are running. The dealers will inspect the affected vehicles and reposition the door handles if necessary. No crashes or injuries were reported in connection with the problem
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) manufactured the affected Escape SUVs from Oct. 5, 2011 to Feb. 14, 2014. The automaker manufactured the affected C-Max hybrid vehicles from Jan. 19, 2012 to Feb. 24, 2014.
Ford approves $1.8 billion stock buyback
Separately, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) announced that its board of directors approved a stock buyback program for up to 116 million shares of its common stock, worth approximately $1.8 billion, to offset share dilution from a potential conversion of its 4.25% senior convertible notes due on Nov. 15, 2016.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) said it will repurchase 12.6 million shares to offset the dilutive effect of share-based employee compensation granted in 2014. The automaker offset the dilutive effect of share-based employee compensation granted in 2012 and 2013 by purchasing 11.7 million and 13.3 million shares of its common stock in open markets, respectively.
In a statement, Bob Shanks, executive vice president and CFO of Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), said, “These actions are consistent with our overall capital strategy to take anti-dilutive actions and position ourselves to further reduce automotive debt. The strength of our cash generation gives us confidence to take these actions to enhance shareholder returns. With these actions, we will reduce our diluted shares by about 3 percent.”