Ford Motor Co. will issue two more recalls of its 2013 Escape crossover following reports of fires in 13 more vehicles. The total number of recalls of the 2013 Escape is now seven, five of which entailed fire risks on models fitted with a 1.6-liter engine. One of the new recalls will be to inspect repairs made to 11,821 vehicles, following discovery that Ford’s service technicians installed some fuel lines incorrectly.
The largest of the recalls covers 161,334 vehicles around the world, including 139,917 in the United States. According to Ford, engine cylinder head in those units could overheat, leading to cracking and oil leaks that may result in a fire under the hood. Ford said that no one was injured in the reported fires. All of the vehicles covered in the smaller recall -- 9,469 of which are in the US -- also are covered by the larger one.
Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said that some Escapes are part of all five recalls related to fire risks. Ford disclosed that the previous recalls were in July, September and November 2012. According to Felker, Ford has no idea how many vehicles were being recalled to re-inspect fuel-line installations that need repairs. He said that if the lines were improperly installed, they may abrade over time and leak fuel.
The carmaker also received reports of gasoline odors and leaks, but no fires or injuries. "We found that some of the vehicles had been incorrectly serviced," Felker remarked, adding that the recalls were issued “out of an abundance of caution.” According to Ford, the repairs would start on Jan. 23, 2014. To address the overheating issue, Ford plans to modify the engine shielding, cooling and control systems.