Ford recalling 2013 Escape, Fusion because of possible engine fires
Move covers 89,000 models with 1.6-liter engine
The all-new Escape, a top seller for Ford in the compact SUV segment, has now been recalled four times.
DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. is recalling about 89,000 2013 Ford Escape crossovers and Fusion sedans with 1.6-liter engines that may overheat and cause fires.
Ford estimates that the voluntary recall covers about 73,320 Escapes and 15,833 Fusions in the United States and Canada.
Ford, which announced the recall late Friday, advised customers to contact a dealer as soon as possible to arrange for alternative transportation at no charge. The company said it is working on a repair for the problem.
The vehicles are being recalled because of reports of engine overheating and fluids leaking on hot parts, resulting in engine fires while the engine is running, Ford said.
Ford is trying to determine what causes the overheating problem.
No injuries have been reported, the company said.
Ford spokesman Said Deep told The Associated Press the company has received reports of 12 fires in Escapes and one in a Fusion.
The redesigned 2013 Escape has now been recalled four times since its debut this spring. The Fusion also has been redesigned for 2013 and went on sale this fall.
Ford said some drivers who have experienced high engine temperatures followed by engine fires say that their instrument clusters flashed the message: "Engine Power Reduced to Lower Temps" or "Engine over temp, stop safely."
Some drivers also indicated that their instrument clusters sounded a chime and illuminated a red light.
"We have identified an issue and are taking actions in the best interest of our customers," Steve Kenner, director of Ford's automotive safety office, said in a statement. "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."
Ford informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration late Friday that the first report of a fire in the Escape was on Sept. 7. The incident in Florida involved a vehicle that didn't have an engine dipstick, which allowed oil to be expelled, The Detroit News reported.
Following additional reports of fires in Virginia and Arizona, Ford formed a task force on November 12 to investigate the fires, the News reported.
The latest recall does not affect 2013 Escapes or Fusions with other engines, Ford said.
When parts are available, Ford plans to notify customers to schedule a service appointment with dealers.
In July, Ford issued its first recall of the 2013 Escape. Ford said more than 10,000 new Escapes were assembled with incorrectly positioned carpet padding that could interfere with braking.
Later in July, Ford recalled 11,500 redesigned Ford Escape models with 1.6 liter engines and urged owners to immediately stop driving the model because of fire risk.
Ford said a possible damaged fuel line may produce a significant fuel leak, leading to a fire if the vehicle is running. Ford reported three fires since June 9, including one in a customer vehicle in Canada and two at its Louisville Assembly plant.
Ford says more than 90 percent of the 2013 Escapes covered by the July recall have been repaired, The Detroit News reported.
In September, a third recall for the 2013 Escape was issued to prevent a dislodged cup plug in the engine cylinder head from causing a possible fire, as well, the company said at the time.
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