DETROIT Nov 26 Ford Motor Co's bad safety
streak with its 2013 Escape continued on Tuesday as the
automaker issued two more recalls for the second most popular
sport utility vehicle in the U.S. market.
There have now been seven recalls of the 2013 model of the
Escape, a key SUV for Ford, the No. 2 U.S. automaker. The
recalls affected 161,334 Escape SUVs globally, mostly in the
United States, and addressed potential leaks that could cause a
Escape sales in the United States were up 14 percent through
October this year to 250,543 vehicles, making it the second-best
selling Ford product behind the F-Series pickup trucks, and No.
2 to Honda Motor Co's CR-V in the SUV segment. The
Escape was completely redesigned for the 2013 model year.
Ford is recalling the Escape SUVs from the 2013 model year
equipped with 1.6-liter engines because the engine cylinder head
may overheat and cause cracks that could allow oil to leak,
according to documents filed with the U.S. National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration. A Ford spokeswoman said there
were 13 fires reported related to this issue, but no injuries.
Of the affected vehicles built at Ford's plant in
Louisville, Kentucky, 139,228 are in the U.S. market, 18,917 in
Canada and the rest in other markets, Ford said.
Within that Escape action, a total of 11,821 globally have
been recalled because the engine compartment fuel line may have
been installed improperly under a prior recall and could lead to
a leak. The U.S. market has 9,469 of those SUVs, according to
Ford had received warranty reports of fuel odor or leaks of
Escape SUVs repaired in a previous recall, according to the
No fires or injuries related to this issue have been
reported, the Ford spokeswoman said.
The number of recalls for the 2013 Escape SUV has risen to
seven as the NHTSA counts Tuesday's actions as two separate
Under the larger recall, Ford will modify the engine
shielding, cooling and control systems, according to NHTSA
documents. In the smaller one, Ford dealers will inspect the
engine compartment fuel line and replace it if necessary. Owners
will be notified of the recalls by mail by Jan. 23, 2014.
Ford is also recalling 7,329 Lincoln MKZ hybrid vehicles
globally from model years 2013 and 2014 to reprogram the power
train control module. They may not conform to U.S. requirements
that the brake be depressed before the car can be shifted out of
park. No accidents or injuries were reported relating to this
In July 2012, Ford took the rare step of telling about
11,500 Escape owners to not drive their vehicles due to the risk
of an engine fire. In that case, it offered customers loaner
vehicles while their SUVs were inspected and repaired. Earlier
that month, the company recalled 8,266 of the SUVs because of a
carpeting flaw could reduce clearance for the brake pedal.
In September 2012, Ford recalled about 7,600 of the 2013
models to address potential fire issues. Two months later, it
recalled another 73,300 Escapes as a software glitch in the
cooling system raised the risk of a fire.
In March, Ford recalled about 5,600 Escapes as part of a
larger recall to check the child lock on the rear left-hand door
in several vehicles.
In late July, Ford paid a $17.4 million penalty to U.S.
regulators for failing to quickly recall nearly 424,000 Ford
Escape SUVs from model years 2001 to 2004 regarding stuck
throttles when the gas pedal was fully or almost fully
depressed. It was the largest possible penalty NHTSA, a unit of
the U.S. Department of Transportation, can collect.