Ford Motor Co. admitted that a glitch in the software that monitors the vehicles' cooling systems is what caused the defect that increased the risk of an engine fire in its recently launched Escape and Fusion models. A recall was issued on Nov. 30 for nearly 90,000 Escape crossovers and Fusion sedans. The affected models are powered by the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine.
Ford said that the cooling system’s initial design couldn’t handle a loss of pressure in certain conditions, which may set off a vehicle fire when the engine was running. The software in the models covered in the recall will be updated by Ford. In a statement, the company said that by applying the software updates, the engine temperatures will be better managed during a unique overheating condition that may take place under unique operating conditions.
Raj Nair, Ford's s product development chief, said that the repairs won’t have any material impact on the company’s finances since these are covered by its warranty reserves. Ford informed U.S. safety regulators that they had received nine reports of fires from customers. Ford is encouraging those who drive 2013 Escape and Fusion vehicles to call their dealer and get a free replacement vehicle while the software has still to be updated.
In a statement, Ford's global product development chief Raj Nair said that the company acts promptly when it recognizes a potential issue. Since July, Ford has issued recalls that cover the 2013 Escape crossover four times. Of these recalls, two were related to problems with its 1.6-liter turbocharged engine. Ford considers the Escape and Fusion as two of its most critical launches in 2012.