Prompting the latest Ford recall, a dozen engine fires for which the automaker is trying to figure out the cause. Although Ford is unaware of any injuries caused by the fires, the threat is serious enough that it's urging owners affected by the recall to contact a Ford dealer quickly to arrange for a free loaner car.
“It is important that affected customers not ignore this recall and contact their dealer as soon as possible," Steve Kenner, director of Ford’s automotive safety office, said in a statement. "While we recognize the inconvenience recalls cause our customers, we are taking these actions on their behalf to help ensure their safety.”
The Ford recall involves Escapes and Fusions from the 2013 model year and equipped with the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine. Escapes and Fusions with other engines are not affected by the recall.
To see if your Escape or Fusion is involved, get your 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) from your vehicle registration or off the car itself at the base of the windshield of the label on the driver door opening. If your Escape has the 1.6-liter engine, the eighth character of the VIN will be an "X" (or an "R" if you own a Fusion equipped with the suspect engine).
This is the third time the all-new 2013 Escape SUV has fallen victim to a recall involving the 1.6-liter engine and a fire risk.
In July, a month after the Escape's introduction, 11,500 models were recalled to fix crack-prone fuel lines that could leak and cause fires. In September, 7,600 Escapes were recalled because of coolant leaks that could lead to leaks and fire.
The Ford Escape and Fusion are big sellers for the automaker, so the new Ford recall could set back sales in key auto segments if the company doesn't get its arms around the problem engine quickly.