Ford is voluntarily recalling about 24,000 electric vehicles because the door chime system is not working properly. This may strike you as odd. So just why has the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration strong-armed Ford into this recall? What has this to do with car safety?
The door chimes in vehicles such as the C-Max hybrid are necessary because when the engine is idling, it’s almost silent. It’s therefore possible for drivers to walk away from their vehicles not realizing they are still running. Without the engine noise or vibration to warn the driver, hybrid or all-electric vehicles can be left active. An alternative strategy would be to make the drivability of the car depend on the presence of the key fob inside the vehicle. Until that is implemented, drivers must depend on a noise to remind them of the need to remove the keys before walking away. This is almost certainly the first time a recall has been agreed for something apparently so trivial. Yet, when it comes to electric vehicles, it’s a necessary step.