Ford recalls 2013 Escape, tells owners to stop driving
Published Thursday, July 19, 2012 10:57AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 19, 2012 4:11PM EDT
Ford is urging Canadian and U.S. owners of the new 2013 Ford Escape not to drive the SUVs until a major problem with the fuel lines can be fixed.
The engine compartment fuel lines in 2013 Escapes equipped with 1.6-litre four-cylinder engines can crack and spill gasoline, sparking an engine fire under the hood.
Ford says it has had three reports of fires: two at the factory and one while a customer was driving an Escape. No one has been injured.
The company issued the urgent warning on Thursday, saying the recall affects 11,500 Escapes in the U.S. and Canada. Only about 4,800 of the affected vehicles have actually been sold; the rest are still on dealer lots.
Escapes equipped with the 2.0- litre and the 2.5- litre engines are unaffected, as are other Ford models with a 1.6-litre engine.
Ray Nevi, the assistant director of Ford’s Automotive Safety Office says the company is 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,” he said in a statement.
Ford dealers have been told to stop delivering or conducting test drives on any 2013 Escapes with the 1.6- litre engine until the issue has been resolved. Unsold vehicles will need to be repaired before they’re sold.
For those who have already bought one of the affected 2013 Escapes, dealers are being told to pick up all the affected vehicles for repairs at the dealerships, which should take about two hours. If needed, dealers can drop off a loaner car that customers can use until the repairs are complete.
The company says if all the affected vehicles are brought back in quickly, they should all get repaired in the next two weeks.
This is not the first recall for the redesigned 2013 Escape, which went on sale in June. Earlier this month, Ford recalled more than 10,000 Escapes to fix carpet padding on the driver’s side that could interfere with braking.
That recall affects only vehicles produced between early March and early June. Dealers are notifying those customers who are affected.
U.S. safety regulators are also investigating complaints that throttles can stick on Escapes and Mazda Tribute SUVs from the 2001 to 2004 model years. The throttles can fail to return to idle when drivers take their feet off the gas pedal, leading to crashes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Tuesday it had received 99 complaints from owners of the SUVs, alleging 13 crashes, nine injuries and one death. It said it would investigate the problem in 730,000 SUVs.
Customers may get further information about the recalls by calling Ford's Customer Relationship Center at 1-866-436-7332.