Ford has a problem child and its name is 'Escape with 1.6-liter Ecoboost.' The automaker announced today it's issuing two more recalls to stop fire risks that have been plaguing the vehicle since its 2012 redesign, bringing the total to six recalls for the popular crossover.
According to the Detroit News, the first recall, affecting about 161,000 cars in the U.S. and Canada, concerns oil leaks causing cylinder heads to overheat and start fires in the engine compartment. Thirteen fires have been reported in connection with that problem, although none have resulted in injuries.
Roughly 12,000 of the vehicles involved in the first recall are involved in a second issue over fuel leaks that could also spark engine fires.
According to Phil LeBeau, this is the sixth time the 2013 Escape has been recalled since the first one in July 2012 affecting carpet in 10,000 vehicles. It's the fifth fire-related recall for the Escape.
This time, Ford will adjust some software and engine cooling systems to deal with the overheating.
But the first recall in July 2012 issued by Ford for the 2013 Escape surrounded about 11,000 vehicles that owners were told to stop driving immediately – and dealers told to stop selling – because of risks of fuel leaks that could result in fires. We're now sick of making Escape fiery death jokes, that's how common this is.
A recall two months later was supposed to fix about 8,000 Escapes with a cylinder head problem that could lead to fire. But then in November 2012, nearly 90,000 Escapes and 1.6T Fusions were called back after overheating caused fires in 12 Escapes. Ford said a software upgrade was the solution that time.
For 2014, Ford switched out the 1.6 Ecoboost in automatic-equipped Fusions for a 1.5-liter Ecoboost producing the same amount of power. But the 1.6 version still powers the handful of Fusions with manuals, as well as the Fiesta ST – both models that have not been affected by nearly as many recalls as the Escape.
If you have a 1.6-liter Escape, Ford isn't telling you to stop driving it this time and says it will begin telling you to take your car to a dealership in January. If you have to have an Escape, the 2.0-liter Ecoboost might be worthy of strong consideration now.
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