More than a half-million popular Ford cars and SUVs are on the recall list because they can roll away after you put them in park.
Alecia Grant is just happy her two children weren't hurt after she said her 2016 Ford Fusion started rolling on its own.
"I went to put my car in park, and my car started to roll backward," she said.
Luckily, Grant said, she was not on a steep hill. She jammed on the parking brake to stop the roll.
Grant's 5-year-old daughter remembers the moment of panic.
"I was freaking out," she said.
Half-million cars recalled
It turns out Grant's Fusion is under recall for this exact issue.
Ford explains in its recall advisory that the shifter on some Fusions and Escapes can get disconnected from the transmission due to bad bushings. At that point, you can't shift in or out of park.
"My car was stuck in neutral but my shifter was stuck in park," Grant said.
Ford is now recalling more than 500,000:
- 2013-2016 Fusions
- 2013-2014 Escapes
Dealers will replace the shifter bushing and put everything back together free of charge.
The only problem: Many dealers don't have the parts yet.
Grant said her dealer wanted several hundred dollars to do a temporary fix so she could drive her vehicle.
"They said, 'There are no parts available,' and I would have to pay $615 for them to fix it, and once the parts come in, they will refund my money," Grant said.
What you can do
So how can you protect yourself if your car is recalled and there are no parts available?
- Ask for a free loaner car. Some dealers have accommodated owners too afraid to drive their recalled car.
- Ask the dealer if there is a free temporary fix until the recall parts arrive.
We checked with Ford, which is working to get the repair parts to dealers as soon as possible. The company says affected owners in the meantime should use their parking brake at all times until the repair work is done.
As for Grant, after we got involved, her Ford dealer agreed to do the temporary repair at no charge, putting her back on the road after a big scare.
That way you don't waste your money.
"Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").
Follow John on Twitter (@JohnMatarese)
For more consumer news and money saving advice, go to www.dontwasteyourmoney.com
Contact John at email@example.com