Ford is recalling 11,500 new 2013 model Ford Escape SUVs with 1.6-liter engines. The company also warned drivers to stop driving them immediately due to a risk of engine fire. “It is extremely rare for an automaker to warn drivers to stop driving their recalled vehicles,” Reuters says in a flash report.
The matter is so serious that owners are told to contact their local Ford dealers immediately, whereupon a loaner vehicles will be delivered and their Escapes will be brought to the dealership, presumable on the back of a truck.
A fire can happen due to a fuel line that can split and leak fuel. Ford said no injuries have been reported due to the issue. Dealers were told to stop selling 2013 Escapes with 1.6-liter engines until they are repaired. Meanwhile, TTAC test editor Michael Karesh says that the recall also affected his testing of an Escape 2.0T:
“First they delayed it a day, saying it unexpectedly needed an oil change . Today they cancelled the loaner, saying they wanted to inspect the fuel line even though the recall only covers the 1.6T, not the 2.0T in the review vehicle.”
Ford said no injuries have been reported due to the issue. The new Escape was launched last month, some 11,500 have been sold so far. Only the 1.6 liter engine is affected, there is no fire risk for Escape trucks with the 2.0- and 2.5-liter engines, the company says.
The Escape is a strategic model for Ford. According to Edmunds, the Escape was the best-selling SUV for June 2012. It was the best-selling SUV (all sizes) for 2011, since 2006, the Escape is consistently in the top 2. Says Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs:
“Since the Escape is one of Ford’s highest volume models, it is critically important that it addresses the problem quickly and properly, which is what it appears to be is doing. The Ford Escape plays in a competitive segment – a segment that it has at times dominated – but is now up against a strong competitor with the redesigned 2013 Honda CR-V, which also was recalled today for a smaller issue.”