The Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) continues to have issues with its Escape line of “compact” SUVs and today issued its fourth and fifth recall for the “fire-prone” vehicle.
The company revealed today that it is recalling just shy of 140,000 Escapes following new reports of engine fires in the 2013 models with 1.6L engines. The danger stems from overheating in the cylinder head which leads to cracking and oil leaks. Under-hood oil leaks have this pesky habit of igniting.
Ford addressing fire risk
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has 160,000 Escapes worldwide, most of which are being recalled after Ford received reports of 11 fires caused by the aforementioned engine issue.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) said Tuesday it is issuing two new recalls for fire risks in some 2013 Ford Escape SUVs, after it received new reports of engine fires.
Ford also issued a second recall to address the 9,469 Escapes in the U.S. that will require an inspection of the fuel line as well. The subset recall is 11,821 worldwide in total. By late January, owners of these cars will be notified by Ford to take their Escapes to the dealer for “enhancements to the engine shielding, cooling and control systems made to their vehicles.”
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) stated that it “has received warranty reports of fuel odor or leaks related to engine compartment fuel lines on 2013 model year Ford Escape vehicles that were previously fixed” under an earlier recall. “Subsequent investigation by Ford identified that some engine compartment fuel lines may have been installed incorrectly by service technicians.”
That may create “a chafe condition,” and Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) said since the recall, the “chafe condition has resulted in reports of fuel odor and leaks but there have been no reports of fires, accidents or injuries attributed to this condition. A subset of the population will also have the engine compartment fuel line inspected and replaced as required.”
Recall after recall
This time last year, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) announced its first recall of the 2013 Escape. While they stated that they didn’t have a fix, they still urged customers to get their vehicles off the road until they did and Ford dealers nationwide provided alternative transportation to those affected.
Let’s skip the second and third recalls and simply file them under the umbrella of “lots of problems with the Escape.” Something Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)’s CEO didn’t say.
“Those are great lessons learned. We’re dealing with them now,” Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) president and CEO Alan Mulally said in January. “We were very disappointed it happened on a fantastic vehicle. … We’re always learning new things and we’ll fix the process.”
The fact that there have been no injuries caused by these fires makes this a reasonable statement.
Overall, Ford has issued six recalls for the 2013 Escape, five related to the possibility of fire.