By on July 19, 2012

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.”

 

 

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113 Comments on “Fire Escape: Ford Says To Stop Driving 2013 Escapes Immediately, We’ll Come And Pick Them Up...”


  • avatar
    DubTee1480

    Bad news for Ford, kind of sad to hear it.

    Those engines must have come out of the Chevy Volt plant, ta hur hur hur hur hur

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      No fault of yours, Dub, but like so much inaccurate news in this country, the Volt jokes have been promoted with a political agenda.

      By exaggerating the Volt’s problems and portraying it as an unreliable fiasco, the Republican Right has tried to make it a poster child for why all of GM’s workers should have been allowed to lose their jobs en masse, rather than having the president commit the mortal sin of using government resources to save them.

      In fact, consistent with tced2’s post below, Consumer Reports surveys confirm that the Volt is one of the most trouble-free vehicles you can buy. (I’d be interested to hear what True Delta has to say about this as well, of course.)

      Enough of the usual political infection. Back to talking about cars, which is way more fun — even (especially?) when a fire’s involved.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        tony, you don’t have to be a Republican Rightwinger “to make it a poster child for why all of GM’s workers should have been allowed to lose their jobs en masse”.

        I’m an Independent, and many of my Democrat buddies and fellow poker players have expressed the same disgust for bailouts, handouts and nationalization. I kid you not! We’re far apart on many political things but we can agree that bailouts, handouts and nationalization are just plain bad for most taxpaying Americans.

        My wife’s dad is a loyal Democrat and past-chairman of the Democratic Party in my “overwhelmingly democrat” state. He doesn’t believe in bailouts, handouts and nationalization, and has said so publicly. Maybe it is because he pays so much in taxes — he is in the upper 10% income range.

        Then again, he is also one of those Democrat-people who built their small business up from scratch and is now told by Obama that the government was there all the way to lend him a hand. Yeah, right!

        But, of course, a person’s point of view depends on if they are on the receiving ends of all these goodies, or the ones paying to keep a failed company on life-support and the UAW living large on their tax dollars.

        If more taxpayers believed in the revival of GM and the UAW, more people would be buying GM products now. I don’t see that happening.

        I do see a lot more people choosing to buy Chrysler products, though. I wonder what is causing that? Since Chrysler is now a foreign-owned company employing Americans building cars for Americans, in America.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        “By exaggerating the Volt’s problems and portraying it as an unreliable fiasco, the Republican Right has tried to make it a poster child for why all of GM’s workers should have been allowed to lose their jobs en masse,”

        You don’t have to be a Republican Rightwinger to think that. I’m an Independent and I believe that putting GM on life-support and paying the UAW to continue to live large on the taxpayer dime was not good for America. Many of my Democrat poker-playing buddies believe that as well.

        Hell, my wife’s dad is a loyal democrat and the past-Chairman of the Democrat Party in my “overwhelmingly Democrat” state. And he doesn’t believe that selectively bailing out failed companies was a good thing. He has said so publicly many times.

        He’s also one of those people who started his small business from scratch and is now told by Obama that the government was there all the way to help him along. It didn’t seem that way to him when he couldn’t make payroll, but the taxes and deductions for the government were still due every 90 days.

        My guess is that it all depends on whether a person is on the receiving end of all these freebies, or the ones paying for it with their taxes.

        If more taxpaying Americans believed that bailing out GM was a good thing, there would be a lot more of them buying GM products. That’s just not happening.

        But I do see a lot more people choose to buy Chrysler products, since Chrysler is now a foreign-owned company employing Americans to build cars in America, for Americans.

  • avatar
    tced2

    The Volt fire occurred in very, very unusual circumstances (two weeks after a severe side-crash test) in a storage lot.
    Entirely unrelated to a cracked fuel line for the Escape which could occur in normal driving.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    So that’s the Cruze 1.4 turbo with its undersized and turbocharged engine in a heavy body and the Escape 1.6 turbo with its undersized and turbocharged engine in a heavy body that burst into flames. Coincidence, I’m sure.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt (for now) when Ford claims it’s due to cracked fuel lines, however, I do find it interesting that exactly the types of vehicles that you mention – high curb weight on a relative basis to their small displacement, turbo assisted mills – are seeing such early and relatively significant safety recalls.

      And I stand by my opinion that turbochargers have not been resurrected as the worry and maintenance free, bulletproof devices that many automakers are apparently trying to convince consumers of (especially when attached to small displacement motors lugging around heavy vehicles in an attempt to goalpost EPA fuel economy numbers).

      Heat soak is a bitch.

      • 0 avatar
        icemilkcoffee

        Agreed. Turbos put out a ton of heat. Even if the turbos don’t fail. the other engine bay components will takea beating. It is just an additional point of failure.

        Granted- direct injection is also a potentially expensive point of failure. So is CVT.

        In short, the Toyota Yaris with its conventional gas engine and 4AT will probably be cheaper in the long run than any of these other newfangled technological wonders.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      Undersized engines in big cars being an obvious fire risk is ridiculous. Maybe you guys should have been in the design rooms when the mfrs were considering these things.

      Such combinations may not perform well, and may not yield the fuel economy some people want, but fire risks due to split fuel lines could happen to any vehicle with poorly designed/manufactured fuel lines.

      How many Hyundai/Kia or Buick 2.0T engines have caught on fire? Maybe they should be recalled because of the obviously poor combination of engine and car weight?

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The Hyundai and Buick examples are high performance engines based on engine displacements that could handle the job of hauling the cars in question around without turbocharging. The Cruze and Escape are heavy vehicles with engines that couldn’t budge them without forced induction and the turbo is just a fuel economy gimmick, not a performance enhancement. 2 liter mid sized cars are nothing new. 1.4 liter 3,200 pounders? 1.6 liter 3,700 lb CUVs? Not so much. These engines are fully tapped and their turbos are constantly operating in compression. Heat is generated and not dissipated. Damage will result.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        “Heat is generated and not dissipated. Damage will result.”

        Who says? Were you involved in the design process of these power-trains? I thought inter-coolers and engine cooling systems dissipated the heat? Those wacky engineers must not have a clue. You should help them out with your expertise since you have bought so many cars.

      • 0 avatar
        BrianL

        The 2.0L engine isn’t a performance engine without the turbo. So, I am not sure what you mean by that.

        Also, this problem doesn’t look like a heat issue. Leaking fuel can start fires. That isn’t anything new. If the Buick’s or Hyundai’s had this problem, it would also be a recall.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        A naturally aspirated 2 liter isn’t a performance engine in a mid sized car, but it is a sufficient engine. Turbocharging it makes it a performance engine. A 1.4 liter in a 3,200 lb car or a 1.6 liter in a 3,700 lb CUV is no engine at all without turbocharging. The Hyundai and Buick run their turbos in compression during big acceleration events. The Cruze and Escape run their turbos any time you’re not coasting. Intercoolers don’t dissipate heat. They merely remove it from the intake charge and release it under the hood, where the turbo housing and exhaust manifold are doing their best to roast everything anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        icemilkcoffee

        CJinSD is right. The tiny turbo engines will generate a ton of heat in side the engine bay. The intercoolers cool the intake air, and the water cooling will cool the turbo bearings. But the majority of the heat is generated in the exhaust manifold. There is no cooling on the exhaust manifold. That exh manifold heat is going to cook everything else inside the engine bay, like rubber fule hoses and vacuum hoses.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Ubermensch, instead of you and I getting into continuous (albeit relatively civilized) debates on this, I am telling you again that a turbo-strapped motor is going to have significantly more heat stroke than a non-turbo strapped motor of equal (and even greater) displacement.

        If you doubt that, and I don’t think you’ve stated that you do- although you haven’t said you don’t- go the Borg Warner or Garret’s sites, or anywhere else on the web, and do some basic research.

        So, the question has never been whether turbo assisted motors run hotter than non-turbo assisted ones; they do.

        The question is and has been whether appropriate and commensurate cooling systems have been integrated into these new, small displacement, turbo assisted motors that will effectively mitigate and vanquish heat soak, thus preventing the type of wear and tear to other critical engine components that ICE Public Enemy Number 1, heat, dishes out.

        From everything I’ve read technically, the new gen motors coming out from automakers do not incorporate significantly different or higher capacity cooling systems in their turbo-laden motors than they do in their non-turbo boosted ones.

        If you can show me that I’m under an erroneous impression, much obliged.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        @DeadWeight
        I am not arguing that turbo motors generate more heat, I am saying that it doesn’t matter and the engineers have factored it in. When was the last time you saw a modern car overheated on the side of the road turbo charged or otherwise? I have never seen the temp needle move higher dead center on ANY of my cars both turbo and normally aspirated even when driven hard in 100 degree plus heat. You and CJinSD are saying that you KNOW that the engineers somehow don’t know what you do and didn’t factor it in. Prove it.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        ubermensch, first, I obviously meant to write “heat soak” rather than “heatstroke” above (it’s been hot lately).

        But you & I are now on the core topic of what we’ve been debating all along.

        You claim that the engineers have taken the copious heat soak these motors are going to generate into account and redesigned the cooling systems and passive venting accordingly, to mitigate its damaging affects.

        I’m stating that I’m skeptical that they’ve done so, and given the ‘build it to a price point’ nature of the automotive business, am confident that whatever measures they took aren’t nearly enough.

        Here’s an example of a auto-blogger/journo writing for InsideLine experiencing the problem of heat soak on a 1.4 turbo Cruz:

        2011 Chevrolet Cruze: Some Like It Hot, But Maybe Not This Hot
        http://blogs.insideline.com/roadtests/2011/06/2011-chevrolet-cruze-some-like-it-hot-but-maybe-not-this-hot.html

        And more specifically, can you show me what additional measures Ford took, if any, between design of the motor cooling system for their 1.6 liter ecoboost versus the 2.5 liter normally aspirated version?

        I’ve looked, and the only thing I found is that BOTH version have opening slats to allow more air to pass over the motor to effectuate cooling.

        I also find it at least interesting that fuel lines on exclusively ecoboost 1.6 Escapes are affected, but not the 1.5 liter normally aspirated version. Does anyone know why this is? Are different fuel lines used?

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    This sounds like some pretty serious stuff. Though the suspect window is relatively small, this is a bad launch issue.

    I’m trying to imagine what the next possible step up the “customer recall severity” ladder might be. Is it Ford Quality representatives immediately flying out to your current location unannounced, and taking the keys from you?

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    This should serve as a warning to anyone thinking about buying the first year of a new car model.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Absolutely. Our first model year Acura TSX developed an intermittent power lock servo after only seven and a half years. Something could go wrong with our first model year Honda Civic Si sedan for the first time any day, and it is only five years old. Our first model year CR-V had to go back to the dealer because the dealer put the state inspection sticker over the climate control’s exterior light sensor, necessitating a return visit for a new inspection sticker. Had we waited a year, they probably would have learned not to block the sensor. On the other hand, our first model year Audi A6 had three warning messages alternating on the dash display when I took it in for its 2nd dealer visit(first scheduled one). Maybe the important lesson is not to buy cars that are historically crummy. Our third model year BMW 325is was recalled and had its dashboard torn apart with crowbars after a few weeks to ‘resolve’ whatever the issue was while creating new ones. Our fourth model year BMW had the engine go after 5,000 miles due to the use of elastic head bolts. Another third model year BMW rained interior trim pieces after 18 months. It took me a while to learn my BMW lesson.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Before you get too much into your standard “Honda is wonderful” spiel you might want to look at this :
        http://www.insideline.com/honda/cr-v/2012/2012-honda-cr-v-2013-acura-ilx-recalled-because-doors-can-open-unexpectedly.html
        A recall for over 150,000 Honda’s in the US because of unexpectedly opening doors.
        My point is all companies have issues, some more than others and I will grant you Honda is one of those with less, typically. But don`t sing their praises too much based upon your anecdotes.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I buy a lot of cars. Starting in 2004, Hondas have absolutely spoiled me. If one of them lets me down, I’ll shut up about them. My friend just replaced her Mazda 3 that blew an engine after 80,000 miles with a 2012 Civic EX-L. She loves it so far and doesn’t seem to notice that it is supposed to be inferior to other cars, particularly the Dolt that her husband leased the same week.

        BTW, if you read that article then your characterization of it seems over the top. If you work the door while simultaneously cycling lock you can do damage to the mechanism? Really?

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Let’s see exactly what happens with those doors on the CR-V and ILX:

        “If the interior front door handle is used to open the door at the same time as either the power lock button or manual locking knob are pressed, slack can develop in the cable connecting the inner door handle to the door latch,” said American Honda Motor Co. in a statement. “Slack in the door latch cable, if combined with the activation of the door locks, may result in the affected door opening unexpectedly.”

        It’s not as though the doors will pop open, on their own, while you are driving down the highway. It’s not also quite in the same league as a potential engine fire.

        Still, I give Ford credit for catching this problem and moving quickly to correct it.

      • 0 avatar
        BrianL

        CJinSD,
        It isn’t like people don’t try to unlock the doors right as someone tries to open the door. That happens all of the time an is a use case that should have been better tested. Tell me that isn’t a common occurrence in today’s vehicles that lock automatically. Even more so, it is a safety issue if it does get damaged and opens at an inopportune time.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Remember your comment was in response to someone saying “don`t buy a first year car” and you saying, to paraphrase, my Honda’s have given no problems in their first or subsequent years. The 2012 CRV and 2013 ILX are first year models and fit in with that original comment – hence why it was timely and appropriate to quote it. I didn`t say it was “serious” or “in the same league”.
        To be explicit it is fair to complain about the issue with the Escape, and we will find out more about how serious it is. Then it is fair to at least point out a recall for 10 times the number of vehicles (in the US). In both cases no-one was hurt.

        I am glad that Honda has given you (and my father-in-law) no problems. Just like my BMW and VW experiences, and unlike my Toyota experiences.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        The 3G Honda Odyssey, which is seen as having been pretty reliable over its model run had 8 recalls, 5 of which were for its 1st model year (2005), including one for improperly assembled steering units.

        And then there have been common Honda problems like prematurely failing ATs and cracked dashboards, so it’s not like Honda hasn’t also had its issues.

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        @CJinSD

        Thank you for reminding me why I’ll probably never buy a Honda.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      I’ve bought lots of first-year cars, and most of them have been fine. A notable exception was my former 05 Odyssey lemon.

  • avatar
    levi

    Maybe my memory is too short. Has there ever been a large recall where a car manufacturer said, “Park it – we’ll come get it!”?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Never heard of something like this.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      GM had one once that impacted a very small number of Express Vans…the direction was:

      1. remove it from your garage and get it away from any structures
      2. park it
      3. we’ll come get it

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      The latest generation Mitsubishi Eclipse had a brake recall something like days after the car was introduced. The numbers were small (something like three figures), and the factory came and got the cars from the owners and fixed them.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      @kixstart

      I think they did push it away from the building acutally…instead of driving it.

      I remember it because I was working at a client site that had a handful of fleet Express Vans at the time including one impacted by the recall (this was back in 2010 if I remember correctly) and GM called them directly to give the instructions.

      I’ll never forget the receptionist walking out with a confused look on her face describing the phone call she just received. A quick phone call to the fleet contact confirmed the details. Pretty sure it was a quick fix…but you don’t forget things like that.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I wonder if the 2013 Mondeo’s UK delay is related? They both use the 1.6.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      As was mentioned in the comments on the Mondeo article recently it was due to be launched after the Fusion, with it’s debut at the Frankfurt motor show next month.

      I know some are saying turbos are suspect, if that is the case then why are they routinely used in Europe (VW and Ford spring to mind with plenty of turbo/supercharged models) and seemingly none of these issues. Or are they just well hidden?

      As an aside it seems sales were pretty strong if they sold over 11000 on just one of the 3 engines (albeit the planned volume model).

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      @philadlj

      I recall reading an article a few days ago mentioning it was being delayed to work out some kinks. Guess that would make sense.

  • avatar

    BTW, where is “Volts on Fire ” lately?

  • avatar
    el scotto

    There goes my trade-in value. The general public won’t care; those Escapes catch on fire will become a mantra. Ford should be sweating this for a lot of reasons, legal, moral, bad publicity, the list goes on. Any dealer with a lick of sense should call the owner and ask “what kind of Ford would you like to drive while your Escape is in the shop”? Instead I see a lot of Fiestas going into loaner duty.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Worse than that would be rental cars. Once a Ford buyer gets to drive something else…

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Especially if they are Hyundais.

        “Damn! This thing drives at least as good as my Ford, and aren’t these priced less than Fords/near-BMWs?”

      • 0 avatar
        KalapanaBlack

        We had some good business last year during the Windstar/Freestar rusting rear suspension deal in rentals. Ford footed the bill. In quite a few instances, they easily surpassed the retail value of the old Windstars by having to shell out for 4 months of rental cars. I don’t believe a single Windstar renter got a Ford product (mostly Corollas and Suzuki SX-4s). We didn’t gouge, either; Ford named what they were willing to pay per customer and we honored that. Some of them took upwards of 4 months to get parts due to backorder. I even got an excellent employee out of the deal (a renter’s father who dropped him off).

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “I even got an excellent employee out of the deal (a renter’s father who dropped him off).”

        Funny how stuff works out sometimes KB.

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        @ CJinSD

        Once we get to drive something else, we remember how much we like our cars.

        *The rest of this comment has been redacted to avoid being rude*

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Replying to my reply. My indy mechanic told me my Escape needed to go to the dealer to get fixed. Chief level of cursing ensued and I got my time to bring the Escape in.
      CJ I swim in the kool-aid of Ford trucks. Ford cars, not so much. Yes the new Escape has had every ounce of F-150 DNA removed.
      DeadWeight I liked the Hyundai and the VW I rented. Nice rides but no OMG I gotta have one of these reaction.
      Kalapana It seems Enterprise has the dealer/body shop trade pretty well sewn up. $21 for a rental or ride the dealer shuttle. I’ll drive myself for that pittance. It’s not Hertz Gold Club but it’ll do.

      • 0 avatar
        Battlehawk

        What F-150 DNA? The old Escape can trace its roots back to the Mazda 626.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Battlehawk The dash layout, HVAC controls, radio, well just about all the knobs and fiddly bits seemed copied from the Ranger I drove and the F-150 work truck I drove. I could work them w/o looking at them, even with gloves on. Oh, no 4wd on the fly switch.

    • 0 avatar
      kkt

      There will probably be too many people getting the recall done for all of them to get upmarket loaners. They sold a bunch of Escapes and everyone who bought one will be wanted to get the recall done ASAP.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      To be fair, there are no disclosed or reported vehicles that have caught fire. I believe Ford is trying to avoid the Firestone/Explorer debacle of the “exploding tires!” at the turn of the millenium.

  • avatar
    espressoBMW

    I wonder if this is in any way related to that PA-12 shortage a while back. Maybe a sub-standard substitute?

    Whatever became of that situation anyway?

  • avatar

    Most of Ford’s recent car launches have been buggy, though usually the problems are less severe. In general you’re more likely to have problems with a first model year car, but this has especially been the case with new Fords.

    As I’ve noted in at least two articles I wrote for TTAC, they want to blame their relatively poor quality scores on MyFord Touch, but their problems extend well beyond this system. They are missing things in development that they should not have missed, then have often been slow to identify and fix problems once the car is in production.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      If you believe insiders on other sites, the company has been rushing vehicles into production, and this is hampering quality.

      • 0 avatar

        My survey data suggest the same thing. Mulally has been talking quality, but it does not appear to actually be among his top priorities.

        I’ve been told that product development chief Derrick Kuzak recently retired at age 60 because he felt that his work at Ford was complete, but this still seems odd to me. If you’re a car guy and you were in charge of developing all of the cars at one of the world’s largest manufacturers, would you quit?

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        I agree about Kuzak. If his work was to bring the “One Ford” program to fruition then it isn`t complete since the first US/Euro Focus has been out less than two years, the Mondeo/Fusion is not yet out, the Kuga/Escape is just out. If he wanted to embed that then I would have thought he would wait until the second generation of One Ford products. Also 60 is fairly early for an executive to retire if they are enjoying their job – Mulally is older.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        If you even lightly peruse Mustang, Focus or Fiesta forums, owners of the new gen Fords seem to be having what I think anyone can would admit to as a highly unusual number of complaints about many things, from transmissions to suspension and steering issues.

        I realize that vehicle owner forums are likely to highlight the problems more than celebrate the success, but I’m accounting for the difference between other forums having owners of other makes than Ford.

        So, I think Michael may be in the ballpark when he says that problems with Ford vehicles may extend well past MyFord Touch.

      • 0 avatar

        The most troublesome of their recent launches has actually been the Explorer.

        The Focus has actually been the best of the bunch, possibly because it benefited from lessons learned with the Fiesta.

        I do doubt that the fuel line issue affects many cars–this is the sort of thing that even spotty product testing would have caught if it were a common problem.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        As for Mulally & quality, it does seem that at first Ford did make impressive gains. IMO, they have since been too distracted from quality with or overworked from developing other gadgets to maintain their success. Rushing products to market does fit.

        I’ve lurked many a Focus forum, and what struck me was how many people would post before buying the car, and then suffer the same problems as the other posters after getting it. Assuming those accounts are genuine, that means the usual retort of “people go to forums to complain about their problems” doesn’t apply because these folks were there before they had the problems. It was a significant reason I chose not to buy a ’12 Focus.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Michael is 100% right about the buggy launches. He’s also right that the Explorer has been the worst. The A-pillar drone, power steering issues, and just a ton of fit and finish problems took way too long to fix.

        At least with the Escape, Ford seems to have a sense of urgency. Engineers at Ford were making their own fixes on thier Explorer A-pillars because Ford took so long to address it. Thier reward for driving around with bees in thier A-pillar is half off on thier next management lease, as long as its an Explorer.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    The official letter to the NHTSA describing the reason for the recall states:

    “Certain 2013 Escape vehicles equipped with the 1.6L GTDI engines have an engine compartment fuel line on which the exterior surface may have been mechanically scored during its manufacture. When subsequently installed onto a barbed connector fitting at the supplier, a scored fuel line may develop a split that can result in a leak.

    Ford is not aware of any field reports of fuel leak or fire in the United States on vehicles in customer service. Ford is aware of one field report of a vehicle fire in Canada that may rate to the issue.”

    So, it looks like it was a production or supplier issue, not a design issue. With no actual reports of fires from this in the US, Ford is just being proactive in getting the vehicles fixed before anyone suffers harm from it.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Don’t they have a hose clamp on that fuel hose? If a fuel hose could come off so easily , what happens when it gets old and brittle a dozen years from now?

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        It reads like a plastic fuel hose pressed onto a barbed fitting, pretty typical design for new cars. If the press machine wasn’t set up right and was scratching the hose end, the hose could easily develop a split end.

    • 0 avatar
      JKC

      You may be right, but it still seems to me that the problem should have been caught and rectified before the cars ended up in customer hands.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        You’re correct and the issue goes back to Michael Karesh’s comment on “bug issue” at Ford. The problem comes from the fact that the European market, though similiar in a lot of respects to the American, isn’t quite the same. The models that do not sell well in Europe, generally speaking CUV and SUVs, sell well here; however, it seems the American manufacturer has seen fit to couple these cars with the least desirable engine choice in Europe. Most Europeans like diesels, not gas and I’ll bet a Euro that the 1.6L is the dog-motor that no one wants but Ford has a glut of on the shelf. Naturally some egg-head accountant meeting with the management thought this a good idea and simply bolted the turbo to it to give it the necessary beans to haul its hefty butt around and didn’t involve too seriously the engineering department.

        Sounds conspiracy theory, but happens a lot. Case in point, the 2008-09 Saturn Astra, of which I own and love. Only one engine of the six engine choices available overseas was offered to North America by GM, the 1.8L gas four banger; the least desirable option in European markets. However the 138HP 1.8L had been around for a dog’s age and is well suited to the Astra (GM still uses it in the Sonic), not sure the 1.6L with the turbo with Ford.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        @doolorean
        More baseless conjecture. A quick look at the Ford UK site shows that the Kuga can be had with a choice of two 2.0L diesels or the 2.5L duratec cyl gas engine. No ecoboost option at all. The 1.6L engine is new as of 2009 and will be offered in the soon to be released Mondeo. There is no evidence that this is an engine that “no one wants” or that they “have a glut of on the shelf.” Plus this recall has NOTHING to do with the engine itself and only affects the way the fuel lines were manufactured.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        delorean, the 1.6T is Ford’s top level gas engine on most European products, minus anything ST. It is in no way the dog motor that no one wants. It first came out for the 2010 MY. Ford just invested a bunch of money in this plant, and they expect to make 400,000 1.6L ecoboost engines in the next three years. I wish this engine was in my Focus instead of the 2.0L Duratec.

    • 0 avatar
      mik101

      Thank you, that was my first thought. Definitely not the first vehicle with improperly manufactured fuel lines. The recall is only for the 1.6L because the feed line is likely engine specific near the fuel rail, or the batch that had issues was intended for a production run of 1.6L ecoboosts.

      Most comments on here about this are flames and baseless claims. These engines aren’t overtressed, look at the torque curve. The fuel lines are likely not even directly by the hot exhaust manifold and turbo. When designed right most of that heat is contained in the exhaust/turbo anyway to boost combusion efficiency. Look at hypermilers putting engine blankets under their hoods to keep the engine temperature up. As long as the temperatures are managable by the cars cooling system and the IAT temps are fine (thats why turbo vehicles generally use intercoolers) then your temps will be managable.

      Sad for Ford yes, but at least they are taking care of this one.
      Who cares to remember the Pinto?

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        If you haven’t noticed there are a lot of very knowledgeable automotive engineers on this site who’s qualifications range from “bought a lot of cars” to “had problems with this one car brand one time and so every car they make and is like it are now all crap.”

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Ain’t that the truth. I especially like when those who trade cars every few years spout off about durability…nothing like a three year lease to prove who’s vehicles last the longest…

      • 0 avatar
        tbp0701

        As a one time Pinto owner, this was one of my thoughts (coming somewhat after “holy crap”). At least Ford is a far different company than the one that decided it was less expensive to let its customers risk it.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        I wondered how long I’d have to wait to see a reference to the Pinto. I’d thought this had been beaten to death already about the unusual circumstances surrounding the original accident and the subsequent “discovery” of internal Ford documents relating to the cost of lawsuits. Some old memes never die.

        More recently and importantly is the long running ignition fire hazard for Ford cars from the 80’s and 90’s; they delayed action for so long on this that owners were advised not to park the cars indoors any longer. If you really want to smack Ford around for not addressing a serious issue, this one could be it.

        We’ve got a boatload of conjecture here, as it appears no one on this board has even SEEN one of the new Escapes, much less have any experience with it at all. (Note: I have not read all of the responses here, but so far, so bad.)

        FWIW, Ford is doing the only responsible thing to do, like many other manufacturers in recent times; fixing the problem. I’m no longer a big fan of Ford products, but I do have to give them credit for doing the hard work of rectifying the issue.

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        Pinto? GM truck fires killed more people, but the Pinto gets all the bad press.

        And the Ford risk/benefit “memo” story has been proven to be bogus.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Little engine + big SUV thingy= Over worked engine, and thus a fire.

    Reminds me of the 80’s VW Camper in that regaurd.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      It has nothing to do with how hard the engine is or isn’t working (and actually with the improved torque curve made available by turbocharging and direct injection the new 1.6 liter shouldnt have to work as hard as the old 2.5 I4).

      The problem is that some of the fuel hoses used in those engines somehow got scored, and due to the weakened integrity of the hose it has the potential to split from the stress imposed by fitting the mouth of the hose over a barbed connector.

      The same issue could theoretically happen in a large displacement V8 that only has to move a compact sports coupe. It’s not stress from the engine that could cause a failure, it’s stress on the hose from a simple connection.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Nullo is right. I’ve driven the new Escape, with the 1.6L, and that engine doesn’t seem over stressed. It is very smooth, quiet, and delivers power on demand. The 2.4L on the Equinox feels much more stressed and sluggish on the freeway and around town.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Instead of basing your judgment on a drive you once took in traffic, you should take some underhood temperature measurements of various points on the motor after even a moderate run about town.

        Hell, take some over the hood temperature measurements.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      Ryoku75 – I’ll call BS on that comment.

      99% of the engine fires on mid-seventies to mid-eighties VW Buses and Campers were due to fuel lines that needed to have been replaced sooner rather than later.

      These engines used electronic fuel injection with increased fuel pump pressure and when a fuel line failed, the fuel that came out of hose was a nice atomized spray and plenty of it.

      The flambaeu issue had nothing to do with a little engine, pushing a big SUV thing. It was due to rubber fuel hoses that would never pass muster today.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    The truth of the matter is that when you ask a small engine to do the work of a larger engine, some crap will always happen, always has, always will, call it Ecoboost, call it what you will, same difference.

  • avatar

    I wonder how many of the 1.6L Escapes also fall under the upcoming recall of 8,300 Escapes due to an issue with floor mats and the potential for unintended acceleration. Maybe Ford could kill two birds with one stone here?

  • avatar
    sudden1

    I don’t know, but I thought that this was an example of excellent customer service. Ford protects itself and takes care of the customer. Before this issue blows up Ford makes the call: “Mr. Smith, there is a potentially serious problem with your new Escape. Please don’t drive it. We’ll come and get it and will deliver a loaner to you. Sorry for the inconvenience. We’ll take care of your Escape. Have a nice day.” “Oh,ok…” No blood; no foul. It’s the response to problems that count to me. I could expect no more. .

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel

    And to think I was getting around to the idea of about possibly looking at, sitting in and maybe buying (gasp) an American car. Thanks for that reality check Ford. No thanks.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      After the all brouhaha settles down over this, go give them a look. My old Escape is not outstanding at any one thing, but it does several things well. 85K with one problem; the foam came loose in the drivers door. Now that’s a weird failure.

  • avatar
    jjster6

    I thought you were car guys. The Escape did not catch fire!!! It experienced a “thermal event.”

  • avatar
    C170guy

    Not too long ago, Ford got all the basic mechanical things right (and a bunch of the little things wrong) and you could count on that.
    They almost went broke that way, so they changed things up.

    Klingon dashboards with car-puters that aren’t working out too well. New transmissions that are long overdue, but have problems.
    Timing belts instead of chains? Brake pedal foot entrapment issues?
    And this isn’t even the whole list of recent sore areas.

    Now they can’t come up with a fuel line that does it’s job and actually contains the fuel inside of it? Fuel line 101.
    Ford is the last company on earth that I would have expected to screw that one up. Looks like their supplier will be thrown under the bus here, but I don’t think it’s that simple.

    They are haunted by most of their newest products and their customers are (so far figuratively) getting burned.

    What the heck is happening to them?

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      I like the Kingon dashboard comment. Let’s hope that it is a passing fad.

      • 0 avatar
        C170guy

        It’s a borrowed term, and I attribute it fully to whoever may have said it, but it is a precise distillation of my own observations. (I have seen the term used in several places myself regarding current Fords.)

        Once you actually sit in one the design of it all really gets into your head. Maybe I am just jaded- but the Fiesta is not a battle cruiser of any galactic sort. For some designer to assume that my willing suspension of disbelief might extend that far becomes insulting to the intelligence. So is the idea of an automobile that tries and fails to be a smartphone, or the USS enterprise with talking commands or whatever else the design is supposed to “evoke” in someone. I would actually like to suggest that plunging into deep fantasy while behind the wheel can be a significant hazard, no matter whatever artistic sounding gobbeldygook is used to justify it by the turtleneck and beret types who are trying far too hard to justify their jobs.

        Oh, you can reinvent the dashboard alright, but you can’t reinvent a simple knob and brag about it. I can’t precisely say what’s run amok here, but something (or a lot of it) has. Is that it? All “good” ideas, but trying too hard and failing in the execution? Maybe it depends.

        I have recommended plenty of ’05-’10 fords to people and will continue to – but until Ford stops playing space invaders and realizes that people already have smartphones and don’t need a car-puter, and finally starts building automobiles again, Automobiles where the basic “car 101″ stuff is right, no way.

        I have a terrible burning interest to see M. Kareshes data explain it all.

        I would also like to add that the whole car-puter thing was born at the leading edge of smartphones, when they were cool and new. Now everyone has a smartphone and in the here and now it seems dated and out of place if you think about it. So yes, It seems that should be a passing fad- if you subscribe to the same reality that I do.

  • avatar
    kjb911

    Hello All!

    In the short amount of time that I have been driving (currently I am 21) I have always picked a car with horrible reliability records.

    1st Car: 1985 Pontiac Fiero 4Cyl Duke /5spd Manual
    2nd Car: 2005 Hyundai Tiburon SE 6spd Manual (So bad I got rid of it after 4 months)
    3rd Car: 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 Limited

    This past November after deciding for a few months when the Jeep left me stranded with a destroyed transfer case and transmission… I decided to take the plunge on my first new car and bought a Focus SE Hatch with the 5spd Manual. With all the posts I see and using Michael’s True Delta website describing the various teething issues, I’m quite shocked that with the 20,000 miles I have almost put on it, the only problems I have had was a software calibration at 2,000 miles to solve a lagging issue at acceleration and a broken clip that holds the passenger upholstery to the foam, which caused a terrible rattle (This may have been caused by my own error but was fixed none the less under warranty)
    Anyways not trying to sound like a Ford Fanboy, I do admire them for being upfront and fast with any recalls so far. My mother was looking into purchasing an Escape with the dealer offering to keep in touch when they would get another fixed 1.6 again or offering a little more off a 2.0L SEL they had. As for my Focus any time there has been a recall or TSB I get a call from my dealer asking to bring the car in they hand me the keys to a mustang for a few hours. (I mean c’mon a 21 year old + Mustang…for what its worth they are good sellers) Until I get royally shafted come out of warranty time I do have to give them credit with the release of so many new models and the problems that will be encountered by doing so with a rush to market. My parents Pontiac G8 V6 has been in the shop 20 times alone this year with problems including a full replacement of the gas tank due to an “unforseen issue” affecting several units but yet you never see anyone blasting that….then again GM has enough to be blasted about

  • avatar
    npbheights

    I am beginning to have this eerie feeling that when the 2013 MKZ is launched with its bespoke bodywork, huge hot and heavy glass roof, my Lincoln touch, and 2.0 turbo 4 in the base model, people will begin to appreciate the current generation’s silky smooth 263 hp V6, honest 3 box shape, JD Power & Associates awards for quality for model years ’10, ’11, &’12 as well as high marks on true delta, and fondly remember the biggest peeve being that it shared door-skins and a body shell with the Fusion, another formerly good car.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The glass roof is an option. In fact, there are three options – no sunroof, standard sized sunroof, or the huge glass roof. The effective weight difference of even the full glass roof vs the steel on a non-sunroof car shouldn’t be any more than the weight of an additional passenger in the car, which is to say, negligible when it comes to reliability or stress on the engine.

      The MFT and MLT software is now where it needs to be in regards to stability. Some screens take a bit of time to load, but there’s no reason that a faster processor and more RAM couldn’t be fitted to future models to speed it up without actually changing the underlying code.

      Also, if you still want a V6, it will be offered on the MKZ, just the 305hp 3.7 liter instead of the 3.5.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    all this nonsense about the Escape being to large for the ecoboosted engines has to stop.
    I know there are a whole lot smarter car folks here than I am, but I have had one of these for some time.
    My MKS has nearly 50K on it. And this is our second summer of 2 months over 105!!!!
    My VW Tiguan has a turbo and never has had an issue and it is now over 30K.
    The SHO isn’t having issues.
    And both the SHO and my MKS are MASSIVE…

    The issue is not heat…its being explained as a line rupture, isn’t it?

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    Ford’s new releases have all been plagued by recalls. As the proud owner of a Fiesta that I had to lemon law, I can only say this is becoming quite commonplace for their new cars.

    I wonder how many new car launches they will botch before people get the message.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      All manufacturers have recalls, new or significantly redesigned models are the most common culprits for it, and everyone is issuing more these days in the wake of Toyota’s SUA problems.

      The fact that Honda issued a recall for over 10x the number of their new CR-V on the same day seems to be getting glossed over by a lot of people here. A recall doesn’t mean a car is unreliable, it just means that the manufacturer noticed a problem after the vehicle has been released and is offering to fix it for free.

      • 0 avatar
        jimmyy

        The Honda recall is for an unlikely problem. In my opinion, the Honda recall was probabally timed by the Obama administration as a cover for the real recall, “escapes on fire”. And, we all know Toyota and Honda will be recalled for a problem with stickers, while exploding Mustang transmissions or defrosters that are unavailable because of a MyFord reboot are overlooked.

        Fires is a basic engineering problem. A slight defect in that gas line should not result in a fire. Bad engineering. A serious problem in a car released the public suggests many more problems lurk in that vehicle.

        Ford deserves the poor grade in reliability by Consumer Reports and JD Powers. Clearly, there are people out there that will buy anything as long as it has a Detroit brand tag on it. Personally, in my life on the left and right coasts, I know no one who has bought or is planning to buy a new Ford. They must be selling a heck of a lot of those to the union and Obama faithfull in the midwest. The only new Fords I see are usually rentals. Even Obama lovers I know avoid all Detroit.

      • 0 avatar
        jimmyy

        I find one more item about your post that bothers me. The morality. Where is the apology from Ford? They shipped a family vehicle that placed people in danger. Imagine the young mother who leaves the vehicle running for a few seconds while she steps in the house. Next we have a high pressured gasoline fire that rapidly burns down the vehicle with here kids inside. Where is the apology? There is none. Lets attach Honda.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      wait…what?

      I feel like I am watching a crowd go mad and begin attacking without anything more than emotion.

      Do you read auto sights other than TTAC?
      Do you see the recalls that are announced every day?

      Let me help you….

      Volkswagen is recalling 46 model-year 2012 versions of the Beetle

      Honda issued two voluntary recalls to address faulty front door latches and handles. Seems the door were oprning without any help!

      Porsche is recalling 270 model-year 2011-12 versions of the Porsche Panamera Turbo, 2012 Panamera Turbo S and 2012 Porsche Cayenne Turbo due to a potential defect with the engine

      Nissan is recalling 11,076 model-year 2012 versions of the Juke compact hatchback due to problems with the rear seatback

      THIS week alone!
      And I am not sure if there were even more.

      So stop with this mob mentality.
      It belittles what I thought was a thoughtful group.

      What ever happened to the B&B?

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        The B&B? There were never any.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        “What ever happened to the B&B?”

        I’m beginning to wonder the same thing.

        Lots of new names and avatars in the last six months, and that’s very welcome, but where lots of the older ones? Did they give up, get tired of the site or went elsewhere (where else can you go that’s anywhere as good as TTAC)?

        I agree, calm down and be objective and don’t make rash comments if you don’t know what you’re talking about or before more facts are known.

        Humor, however, is always welcome!

        EDIT: Geozinger, welcome! Good to see you on here!

      • 0 avatar
        DubTee1480

        I’ve noticed what seems to be an increase in violations of the commenting policy, the comments section is getting a little wild. I imagine as the site is growing and our authors are trying to look for original content that it’s beginning to get hard to police the site. At least I hope that’s the case, the alternative is that they don’t care which isn’t the impression I’ve gotten in the past. I’ve seen very interesting questions posed to authors that went unanswered so it’s likely that there’s not time to check every post. There have been insults flying though and while not directed in name at a particular forum member they are obviously written to draw a response from someone. Calling a member’s girlfriend an idiot, calling people who buy a particular make of car dense knowing other forum members who drive said makes, insulting people from a particular region knowing there are people from that region reading…
        I imagine the people that are looking for thoughtful discussion are still reading but not commenting as much.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Sadly, the B&B are swimming against the tide of the unwashed mob. Too many on here are showing their bias without any facts or evidence to support their spouting off. Wanna take cheap shots at companies, cars, and people? Then feel free to fire away without consequences for your actions. The anonymity of the ‘net promotes false courage in far too many people. I belong to a restricted Facebook group. The restriction is based on your rank in the Navy, that’s all. If someone pisses you off, you trade phone numbers. Problem solved.

      • 0 avatar
        Syke

        Well, in terms of what we claimed the B&B to be, they never existed. I always hoped that term was said in jest, because the comment-ship on this forum has always been average at best, and is slowly degenerating into brand-fanboy and (especially) brand-anti-fanboy-hatred. A lot of the more measured commentators that TrailerTrash is referring to have pulled back (for whatever reason, most likely exhaustion from the constantly strident comments) to be replaced by the Volts on Fire’s and CJinSD’s – easily predictable, strident, comments centered around belittling certain cars or nationalities of cars.

        I still love this site for the articles. I’m slowly getting to the point where I’m just going to pass on reading the follow-up comments. They’re getting way too predictable, and way too uninformative.

        Unfortunately, this is not something limited to TTAC. If you really want to see the probable future of this site, go hit the MotoGP section on Crash.net. Visualize Volts on Fire only louder and (if possible) more obnoxious. If there’s a match to GM hatred, it’s Valentino Rossi or Casey Stoner hatred. And the only way to stop that kind of slide is site-administrator controlled censorship (in extreme cases). Which works in some cases (motogpmatters.com).

      • 0 avatar
        jimmyy

        “What ever happened to the B&B?”

        Does B&B mean “Beavis and Butthead”?

  • avatar
    punkybrewstershubby

    Some of the comments on this post are asinine.

    It’s a scored fuel line and it could crack. Ford would rather have the bad PR upfront by getting the Escapes temporarily off the road and repairs than risk having one actually catch fire and injure and kill someone.

    I see broken and leaking fuel lines all the time.

    It has NOTHING to do with underhood temps or big box/little engine.

    Geesh.


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