In an extremely rare and unusual warning, Ford Motor Co. told owners of certain 2013 Ford Escape SUVs in the U.S. and Canada to stop driving their vehicles immediately due to the risk of a faulty fuel line creating an engine fire.
The recall involves about 11,500 model-year 2013 Ford Escape SUVs with 1.6-liter engines sold in the U.S. and Canada. Ford said that most of the new vehicles remain on dealership lots, while about 5,000 are being driven by consumers.
According the car maker, a fuel line in the engine compartment is susceptible to splitting and leaking fuel, which could lead to a fire under the hood.
According to Ford records, three incidents involving engine fires caused by defective fuel lines occurred when the vehicles were being driven to from the production line to the parking lot to await shipment. Ford spokeswoman Marcey Zwiebel said that the company had one record of an Escape engine fire that broke out while being driven by a consumer in Toronto. No injuries have been blamed on the defect.
About 9,300 of the Escapes are in the U.S. and about 2,000 in Canada.
“This is not a routine action that we are taking but we do believe it is appropriate in these circumstances,” Ms. Zwiebel said.
Ford advises owners of the affected vehicles to contact their dealer immediately to make arrangements for the repair. The company said it would arrange for loaner vehicles to be delivered while the Escapes are picked up and brought to the dealership for repair.
Reuters notes that this recall is the second recall for the 2013 Ford Escape this month. Ford recalled more than 8,200 Escapes earlier for faulty carpet positioning that could interfere with braking.
The current recall does not affect Escapes with 2.0- and 2.5 liter engines, nor does it include 1.6-liter engine models from previous years.
“We have identified an issue and are taking quick actions in the best interest of our customers,” said Ray Nevi, assistant director, Ford Automotive Safety Office.
“Our intensive investigation and testing has identified the area of concern and we are moving as quickly as possible to repair vehicles for our customers. In the meantime, it is extremely important that affected customers not ignore this recall and immediately contact their dealer.”