Frozen Exhaust

I just got my 2002 Focus Wagon towed to the dealer because it wouldn't start. We have been going through a cold snap (-20C for a week+), yet my 10 year old started the first turn.
CAA is contracted for the Ford Roadside Assistance, and he gave the ignition a turn, and said that the exhaust was frozen and blocked. He said the tell-tale sound is a solenoid click and fan sound.
He has seen this problem frequently, and has been towing many Fords because of this. He also indicated that Ford has put a notice to the tow-drivers which says not to spend time trying to start the car, but to tow it to a dealer.
I was also told that I could use an electric heater on the exhaust to defrost the block but be was unsure whether the blockage was before or after the catalytic converter.
Has anyone else had this problem who can say the frequency that this occurs? Is there a solution that Ford has done to fix the problem? Has anyone tried to defrost the exhaust, and if so, where do you put the heater along the exhaust pipe?
Tim.
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As far as I know... it only affects 2002 Focus with standard transmission... (not really sure about 2002, might be other years but that is the only year I have seen) there is a tsb out indicating this concern.... and they have updated the muffler and pipe for this concern, but with the number that have happened recently, they are most likely on a back order.

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Is there a web site where I can look up recalls?

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http://www.alldata.com
http://www.autosafety.org /
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov /
-- Dan 2003 ZX5 2.0 Litre Zetec 23.1K miles "Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it" - George Santyana
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Sorry, it is not a tsb, but a special service message

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Well, you could always do what I saw a guy doing many years ago. It was very cold and his truck engine would turn over very slowly. He was parked in the grass on the side of the road. He built A SMALL FIRE under the oil pan and the rest is history. jor

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Yeah, that's an old trick commonly used years ago. The other was to keep an oil lamp under the car over night. You only need to get just a couple of degrees warmer to make all the difference.

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