When the covers came off the 2013 Ford Escape at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, car fans went a little crazy. Gone was the awkward, boxy little sister of the mature Ford Explorer: this was a vehicle that could stand on its own.
But since that great transition -- which also made the Escape less of an SUV and more of a crossover -- it's suffered from an unusual number of problems, including faulty child locks, various engine flaws, and one related to its carpet.
Unfortunately, the 2013 Ford Escape has just been hit with two more recalls, bringing the total to around seven in all.
The first of the new recalls affects a whopping 139,917 Escape models equipped with 1.6-liter engines built between October 5, 2011 and June 2, 2013. According to a bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, those vehicles "may experience localized overheating of the engine cylinder head which may cause cracks that could allow oil to leak". If that oil leaks onto the hot engine, it could start a fire.
And just in case you think you're experiencing a nasty case of deja vu, NHTSA points out that this recall is in addition to a previous recall related to the Escape's engine overheating. So, for some of the vehicles included in today's recall, it may be the second visit to the shop for similar problems.
Ford says that owners should begin receiving notification of this recall around January 23, 2014. At that time, they'll be able to take their Escape vehicles to a Ford dealer, who will inspect and adjust the engine shielding, cooling and control systems free of charge.
If you own one of the affected vehicles and have questions in the meantime, you're encouraged to contact Ford at 866-436-7332 and ask about recall number 13S12. Alternately, you can contact NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and ask about recall campaign #13V583000.
The second of today's recalls is, sadly, intended to fix a mistake made during one of the previous recalls. Last year, select 1.6-liter EcoBoost models were recalled because of a dodgy fuel line, which had the potential to leak gasoline into the engine compartment, causing a fire.
Unfortunately, the fix for that recall had a few problems of its own. According to a NHTSA bulletin, 9,469 vehicles that went through the repair process might not be any better off today than they were before: "In some cases, the engine compartment fuel line may have been installed incorrectly when repaired under the prior recall. The misinstalled fuel line could chafe and eventually leak fuel."
As with recall #1 above, Ford says that it will begin notifying owners of this issue by January 23, 2014. At that time, owners can take their vehicles to a Ford dealer, who will examine the fuel line and replace it, if necessary. Both the inspection and any replacements will be carried out free of charge.
Escape owners who have questions about this recall can contact Ford at 866-436-7332 and inquire about recall number 13S12. Or if you prefer, you can ring NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and ask about campaign #13V584000.