The hot-selling SUV has been recalled seven times since it was
redesigned and went on sale in the spring of 2012.
The first of two recalls announced Tuesday affects more than 161,000
Escapes worldwide from the 2013 model year with 1.6-liter
Ford says the cylinder heads can overheat and crack, causing oil
Of those SUVs, fuel lines on about 12,000 may have been installed
incorrectly. They could become chafed and leak gas. Many were
repaired under a previous recall.
Ford says the oil leaks caused 13 fires but no injuries. There
haven't been any fires from the fuel line problems.
In documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, Ford said it began to get engine fire reports on
Escapes in late August, and began investigating. Eventually it was
able to duplicate the cylinder head cracking and decided to do a
recall. During the investigation, Ford also found warranty claims of
fuel line leaks and decided to repair them as well.
In some cases, the fuel lines may have been installed incorrectly by
technicians in a previous fuel line recall, the documents said.
Auto safety advocates say the high number of recalls is out of the
ordinary for a new model and a sign of quality problems.
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But Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker disagreed. "We're committed to
providing our customers with top-quality vehicles and are equally
committed to addressing potential issues and responding quickly for
our customers," she said.
The redesigned Escape has been recalled seven times since July of
2012 to fix carpet padding that can interfere with the brake pedals,
fuel lines that can crack, coolant leaks, and child safety locks.
Dealers will fix cooling and control systems or inspect and replace
fuel lines for free. The recalls start in January.
Press; TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writer]
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