Ford issues three recalls, including one that led to two fires

DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co F.N said on Thursday it will conduct three separate safety recalls including one of sport-utility vehicles with a defective engine heater that led to two fires in Canada, in which no one was injured.

A woman has a drink as she walks past a logo of carmaker Ford at the entrance to a media event for the launch of a concept car in Sydney August 13, 2013. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

About 48,000 vehicles are affected by the three recalls, Ford said.

Two under-the-hood fires in Lincoln MKCs caused by overheating block heaters were reported to Ford in Canada leading to the recall of 5,536 SUVs in that country and in the United States. Affected are 2016 model year Ford Explorers and Lincoln MKCs from the 2015 and 2016 model years.

“The engine block design, coupled with the particular block heater installed in these vehicles, causes the unit to be susceptible to overheating when the vehicle is parked and the block heater is plugged in –increasing the risk of an underhood fire,” Ford said.

Ford said it will replace heaters in the affected vehicles with an updated version.

Heating blocks are standard equipment only in cold-weather areas, which means most of the affected vehicles are in Canada, where 3,993 vehicles will be recalled. Another 1,543 will be recalled in the United States and its territories, Ford said.

Ford said it was not aware how significant the damage was to the two MKCs involved in the fires.

Separately, Ford will recall 38,000 model year 2015 and 2016 low-roof Ford Transit vans to inspect and adjust side-curtain air bags that may be incorrectly positioned in some vehicles. The lion’s share of those vehicles, 98 percent, are in the United States.

Ford said it is not aware of any crashes or injuries linked to this recall.

Thirdly, Ford said it would recall about 4,800 heavy trucks F-650 and F-750 to replace parking brake connector clips. Ford said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this defect that affects certain 2015 and 2016 model year big trucks.

Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Fiona Ortiz