Ford is recalling some of its 2013 Escape and Fusion models that are equipped with the 1.6-liter Ecoboost engine over a potential fire risk.
The automaker is urging customers who own one of the recalled vehicles to contact their dealers who will provide them a loaner car at no charge while their vehicle is being fixed, reports USA Today. Ford is still trying to figure out how they can fix the problem.
The Fusion, which was just named the Green Car of the Year at the Los Angeles Auto Show, just went on sale this fall. The new Escape was released in July. The Escape has seen three recalls for the engine for possible overheating and fire dangers.
The Escape’s first recall came just after it hit the showroom floor over a problem with a fuel line that potentially leaked under pressure. Owners and dealers were informed to park the car until it could be fixed. The second recall came in September when owners were informed that the newly redesigned crossover could have a leaky coolant plug.
The latest recall, this time for an engine that could potentially overheat and cause a fire, involves 73,320 2013 Escapes and 15,833 Fusion SE and SEL models in North America. They all come with the 1.6-liter turbocharged Ecoboost engine, which is the volume-selling engine choice for both cars.
The New York Times notes that the recall will also affect about 8,000 Escapes and 800 Fusions in Canada. Said Deep, a Ford spokesman, stated that the automaker is aware of 13 fires that have been caused by the engine problem. In a report Ford filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Friday, they stated that they have been investigating under the hood fires in these cars since early September and found that an unidentified liquid leaks when the engine overheats. If the liquid touches the exhaust system, it can cause a fire.
The report did not identify the liquid, but stated that the automaker’s investigators “found a pattern of engine overheating and fluid leaks that led to the fires.” A coolant leak was blamed in mid September as a potential fire starter, prompting a recall of 6,100 Escape vehicles with the same 1.6-liter Ecoboost engine.
The report filed with the safety administration added that the company is “developing a fix to address the fire risk,” suggesting that they are not yet sure of the cause of the fires. Some owners reported seeing warnings on the instrument clusters that said either “Engine power reduced to lower temps” or “Engine over temp.” Some also reported either hearing a chime or seeing a red light. The automaker advised for owners who see or hear these warnings to find a safe place to pull over and stop the car.
Any damage caused by the overheating problem will by repaired by Ford at no cost to owners.