Ford has issued a voluntary recall of 73,320 2013 Escape crossovers and 15,833 Fusion sedans powered by 1.6-liter engines sold in the U.S. and Canada due to possible overheating that can cause fluids to leak, thus causing a fire.
Although the company says that there have been no reports of injuries, Ford spokesman Said Deep told The Associated Press that the company has received reports of 12 fires in Escapes and one in a Fusion. All cases involve vehicles with the 1.6-liter engine and, according to Ford, 2013 Fusion and Escape models with other engines are not affected.
Ford informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that the first incident occurred on an Escape in Florida on September 7. According to The Detroit News, that vehicle didn’t have an engine dipstick, which allowed the engine oil to overflow onto hot parts.
Some owners say that, before the fires, the instrument cluster displayed the message “Engine Power Reduced to Lower Temps” or “Engine Over Temp, Stop Safely”.
“We have identified an issue and are taking actions in the best interest of our customers”, said Steve Kenner, director of Ford‘s automotive safety office. “It is important that affected customers not ignore this recall and contact their dealer as soon as possible. While we recognize the inconvenience recalls cause our customers, we are taking these actions on their behalf to help ensure their safety.”
Customers can see if they are affected by the recall by:
- Checking their 17-digit VIN located on a label on the driver door opening at the base of the windshield on the driver’s side of their vehicle, or on their vehicle registration. In vehicles with 1.6-liter engines, the eighth character will be “X” on Escapes or “R” on Fusions.
- Logging onto Ford.com, click “View Notices and Recalls” in the “Support” tab and input their VIN to determine if their vehicle is part of the recall.
- Calling 866-436-7332 in the U.S. or 888-222-7814 in Canada.
- Contacting a Ford dealer.
The 2013 Escape turns to be a hot item indeed: this is the fourth recall Ford has issued this year and the third over a fire risk.
In July, more than 10,000 vehicles were recalled due to incorrectly fitted carpeting that could interfere with braking. Later that month, after three incidents, the Blue Oval issued a recall for models equipped with the 1.6-liter engine over a damaged fuel line that could result in a fire risk. The third recall occurred in September, to prevent a dislodged cup plug in the engine cylinder head from causing…, well, a possible fire.
By Andrew Tsaousis
Story References: Ford via Autonews