Ford and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are recalling certain model year 2015 Lincoln MKC vehicles manufactured August 20, 2013 to June 6, 2014, which could have visible air bubbles in the windshield. These vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 205, “Glazing Materials,” according to Ford.
FMVSS 205 S5.1.1 specifies meeting the requirements of ANSI Z26.1-1996 Section 5.3 – Humidity Test, and Section 5.4 – Boil Test, which prohibits bubbles in the test specimen.
“Production vehicle performance indicates that some affected vehicles would not be expected to comply with these requirements,” according to Ford’s statement. “The presence of bubbles may affect driver visibility, which could have a detrimental effect on the safe operation of the vehicle.”
Approximately 1,139 vehicles in the U.S. are potentially affected.
During a June 2014 plant quality audit, two 2015 model year Lincoln MKC vehicles were found with windshields showing “visible blemishes that looked like bubbles.” Ford issued a stop-ship. In a review with Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group, engineering reported that one windshield with bubbles had been discovered on an evaluation fleet vehicle.
“Bubbling is the result of air trapped in the vinyl between the two pieces of glass becoming visible over time with elevated temperatures,” Ford reported in its statement. “Ford engineering and the supplier identified a concern with the de-air process at the supplier facility due to a pinched vacuum hose.”
A Ford spokesperson declined to name the windshield supplier.
From June to July 2014, Ford engineering reviewed the effect of the formation of bubbling on the windshield strength and found that the “level of bubbling exhibited on problematic parts would have no measurable effect on the strength of the glazing or on vehicle crash performance.”
“Based on vehicle and component testing, Ford engineering and the supplier developed time/temperature exposure criteria that would identify any windshields that have the potential to develop bubbles,” according to Ford’s statement.
As of July 28, 2014, Ford says there were no accident or injury allegations for windshield bubbling in a 2015 model year Lincoln MKC.
On July 28, 2014, Ford’s Field Review Committee reviewed the compliance concern and approved field action.
“Owners will be notified by mail and asked to bring their vehicle to a Ford or Lincoln dealer if the windshield in their vehicle exhibits visible bubbles or to bring their vehicle to a dealer to have the windshield inspected,” according to Ford. “Windshields with bubbles will be replaced. There will be no charge to owners for this service.”
In its letter to owners, Ford officials write, “On your vehicle, it may be possible that air was trapped between the laminated layers of the windshield during manufacture. When exposed to high temperatures over time, such as when parked outside in the sun with the windows closed, a windshield with trapped air may develop visible bubbles.”