DETROIT, Sept 5 Ford Motor Co issued a
third recall of its newly launched 2013 Escape sport utility
vehicle on Wednesday, saying an improperly installed part could
cause a fire in the engine compartment.
The recall affects about 7,600 Escapes equipped with a
1.6-liter engine and built between Oct. 5, 2011, and Aug. 31,
2012. In some of these SUVs, a component called a cup plug was
not installed properly, Ford spokeswoman Marcey Zwiebel said.
A loose or dislodged plug would cause an immediate loss of
engine coolant. If the glycol concentration in the coolant comes
in contact with the hot engine components, it may catch fire.
The new Escape was redesigned for the 2013 model year. The
latest recall is the second due to a fire risk.
Ford, the No. 2 U.S. automaker, recalled the vehicle for the
first time in July to correct a carpeting flaw that could cause
Days later, Ford recalled the Escape again, citing a fuel
line problem that could cause an engine fire. The issue forced
Ford to take the rare step of telling owners to stop driving
Zwiebel said the cup plug defect is not related to the fuel
line issue. Ford has determined there is a low likelihood of a
plug dislodging and an "even lower likelihood" of a fire, she
said. Replacement parts are available at dealerships now.
About 6,150 of the vehicles affected by the plug issue are
in the United States and 1,300 are in Canada. No customer
vehicles have caught fire, but in mid-August an Escape caught
fire on a dealer lot in Tennessee.
The plugs at issue were manually installed at a Ford engine
plant in England, Zwiebel said. Manual installation at that time
was used as a back-up when the automated systems were having
problems, something that Zwiebel said is no longer the case.