Ford Motor Co. is recalling more than 634,000 SUVs worldwide because cracked fuel injectors can cause fuel to spray or vaporize over a hot engine and cause a fire.
The recall covers Bronco Sport and Escape SUVs from the 2020 to 2023 model years. All have 1.5-litre, three-cylinder engines. The Dearborn, Michigan, automaker said Thursday that it is not recommending that owners stop driving or park the vehicles outside because fires are rare and usually do not occur when the engine is turned off.
But Ford said it has received 20 reports of fires, including three that ignited nearby structures. The company also said it had four claims of fires that were noticed less than five minutes after the engines shut down. Ford also has four injury claims not involving burns, and 43 legal claims attributed to the problem.
Jim Izzos, executive director of customer experience, said in a statement that repairs are not yet available, but once they are, owners should schedule service with a preferred dealer. 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 also says it’s extending the warranty to cover cracked fuel injectors by 15 years.
Dealers will update the vehicle’s engine control software so it can detect cracked injectors. Drivers will get a dashboard message to avail the service. Also, if injectors lose pressure, engine power will be reduced to a minimum to reduce risk and allow drivers to pull over to a safe location to stop and call for service. Granted, Ford said.
They will also install a tube to drain the fuel away from the cylinder head and away from hot surfaces.
Ford said it is not replacing the injectors because the failure rate that causes leaks is low, estimated at 0.38% for 2020 models and 0.22% for 2021 to 2022 models. This rate is for 15 years or 150,000 miles (240,000 km).