Ford [NYSE:F] will recall about 89,000 2013 Ford Escape SUVs and 2013 Ford Fusion cars equipped with 1.6-liter four-cylinder engines over concerns about a fire risk. About 80,000 Escape and Fusion models are affected in the United States.
According to a report in The Detroit News, the recall affects some 73,320 Escape SUVs and 15,833 Fusion models. Drivers are urged to get in touch immediately with dealers to arrange loaner vehicles. But Ford did not warn drivers to stop driving the vehicles in the interim.
Ford said that no other engines in the Escape or Fusion are affected by the recall.
2013 Ford Fusion
Ford spokesman Said Deep told The Detroit News that engine overheating can lead to fluid leaks, which could then result in contact with the vehicle’s hot exhaust system and subsequently trigger a fire.
Deep said that the automaker is currently developing a fix that will prevent fluids from reaching hot exhaust components and will notify owners “as soon as we can.”
A story in the Los Angeles Times said that drivers who experienced the overheating and fire also noticed an instrument cluster message reading, “Engine over temp, stop safely, “ or “Engine power reduced to lower temps.”
Ford has received 13 reports of overheating resulting in fires when the vehicles were in operation, but no injuries have been reported.
2013 Ford Escape
What drivers should do
If drivers encounter the overheating and fire they should pull off to the side of the road when it is safe to do so, turn off the engine and get out of the vehicle. The Los Angeles Times story said that Ford “will compensate owners for costs tied to overheating.”
How do you know if your 2013 Ford Escape or 2013 Ford Fusion equipped with 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engines is involved in the safety recall? Ford said to check the 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN). In Ford Escapes, the eighth character will be an “X,” while, on the 2013 Ford Fusion, the eighth character will be an “R.” The VIN can be found on a label on the side of the driver’s side door, on the base of the windshield, and on the vehicle registration.
Owners in the U.S. with any questions or concerns may also contact Ford at 1-866-436-7332 or go to www.Ford.com to check their VIN number under the Support tab and View Notices and Recalls.
Fourth recall for 2013 Ford Escape
This marks the fourth safety recall the automaker has conducted for the 2013 Escape. The first was announced in July 2012 and involved recalling more than 10,000 vehicles to fix incorrectly positioned carpet padding that could interfere with braking.
The second Escape recall also occurred in July and involved 11,500 2013 Ford Escapes equipped with 1.6-liter engines. At the time, the automaker urged owners to stop driving their vehicles immediately due to fire risk. Ford said that about 80 percent of the vehicles involved in that recall have been repaired.
The 2013 Escape’s third recall came in September, involving 7,600 vehicles equipped with 1.6-liter engines. The problem was identified as an improperly installed part that could lead to risk of a fire.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has posted an official recall notice on its website covering 2013 Ford Escape SUVs with 1.6-liter engines built from October 5, 2011 through November 26, 2012 and 2013 Ford Fusion cars equipped with 1.6-liter engines built from February 3, 2012 through November 29, 2012.
The bulletin says that the Ford recall is expected to begin on or before December 7, 2012. Ford’s recall campaign number is 12S41.
In addition to contacting Ford at 1-866-436-7332, owners of vehicles affected by the recall may also contact NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to http://www.safercar.gov. Reference the NHTSA campaign ID No. 12V551000.