Ford Motor Co. recalls over 634,000 SUVs worldwide because of a cracked fuel injector that can spill fuel or leak vapor onto a hot engine, and cause fires, according to DEARBORN, Mich.
The recall covers Bronco Sport and Escape SUVs from the 2020 to 2023 model years. All have 1.5 liter, three-cylinder engines.
The Dearborn, Michigan automaker said Thursday it was not recommended that owners stop driving the vehicles or park them outdoors because fires are rare and generally don't happen when the engines are off.
The Ford F said it received 20 reports of fires, including three that ignited nearby structures. The company has four claims of fires that were not noticed less than five minutes after the engines were turned off. Ford has four injury claims not involving burns, and 43 legal claims attributed to the problem.
The executive director of customer experience, Jim Azzouz, said that repairs aren't yet available, but owners should schedule service with a preferred dealer once they are available. The owners will be notified by letter starting December 19.
Owners can take their SUVs to the dealer and get a free loaner, or they can get free pickup and delivery.
Dealers will inspect the injectors and replace them if necessary. Ford says it extending warranties to cover cracked fuel injectors for up to 15 years.
Dealers will update the engine-control software so it detects a cracked injector. Drivers will get a dashboard message to get service. If there is a pressure drop in the injectors, engine power will be cut to minimize risk and allow drivers to stop and call for service, Ford said.
They will also install a tube to drain fuel from the cylinder head and away from hot surfaces.
Ford said it is not replacing injectors because of the failure rate that causes leaks, an estimated 0.38% for 2020 models and 0.22% for 2021 to 2022 models. The rate is for 15 years or 150,000 miles 240,000 kilometers.