Ford Fusion Cars Recalled After Discovering Glitch

2013_Ford_Fusion_Titanium_--_2012_NYIAS

65,000 Recalled After Discovering Glitch That Causes Cars to Roll Away

Risk Level: Safety Critical

Background

Ford motor had to recall around 65,000 Fusion cars in North America on account of a software problem. Out of the total recalls around 56,500 cars are in the U.S. and 6000 are in Canada. The Fusion model has been fords top selling car in the economy.

The Detroit car maker recalled 65000 2014 and 2015 year model fusion as these are the cars identified to have the programming glitches which result in the car rolling away. In one of the statements ford said. “This issue allows the key to be removed 30 minutes after the ignition is turned off, even if the transmission is not in Park…this is a compliance issue, a regulation involving theft protection and rollaway prevention.” This means that keys can be removed after more than 30minutes of the ignition switch being turned off and if the car is in gear. A risk like this encroaches upon the U.S. safety regulations.

Actual Failure

The software glitch is in the software found in the vehicles instrument cluster. The glitch allows the Fusion’s key to be removed from the ignition switch 30 minutes after the vehicle has be switched off, whether the transmission is in park or not. If the hand break isn’t engaged and the vehicle is on an incline, this can allow the Fusion to roll away.

File - PDF

Ford Fusion Recall Notice

Repercussions

Ford had to recall 65,000 2014 and 2015 year model vehicles of its Fusion cars in North America, to fix the software glitch in the vehicles instrument cluster.

  • Ford Fusion years 2014 and 2015

Ford says that it knows of no accidents or injuries related to the problem. The fix involves reprogramming the software on the instrument cluster.

fusion-int-4-1400

Analysis

Non-functional testing

We believe this software failure highlights the importance of non-functional testing. If all the non-functional attributes were properly testing during the testing phase the programming glitch could have been found and fixed. This would have saved for the embarrassment and expense of having to recall the 65,000 cars to fix the programming glitch.

Usability testing

We believe this software failure also highlights the importance of usability testing. During this phase of testing, the effectiveness off the software would have been tested. The test driver of the car should have tested all aspects of the car and found the problem of being able to remove the key after 30minutes causing the car to roll back even if the car is still in gear.

How to be avoided in the future

We believe the software glitch in the ford fusion vehicles could have been avoided if all non-functional attributes were fully tested. The vehicle should have been fully tested to make sure the ignition key could not be removed until the vehicles transmission was in park.

While this probably was tested originally, the fact that it only allows the key to be removed 30 minutes after the ignition has been switched off wouldn’t have been tested.

We would recommend that in future testing not functional attributes like this be tested at different intervals, for example tested every 20 minutes for an hour to check it is still functioning correctly.

 

References

http://www.tricentis.com/blog/2015/01/software-failures-of-2014-transportation-edition/

http://www.gurufocus.com/news/294545/ford-recalls-fusion-is-it-a-cause-for-worry

http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1095547_2014-2015-ford-fusion-recalled-for-software-glitch-that-could-allow-cars-to-roll-away

Video/Images

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDaJO2En8AU

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/be/2013_Ford_Fusion_Titanium_–_2012_NYIAS.JPG

 

 

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