DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is recalling more than 634,000 SUVs worldwide because a cracked fuel injector can spill fuel or release fumes onto a hot engine and cause fires.
The recall affects Bronco Sport and Escape SUVs of model years 2020 through 2023. All have 1.5-liter three-cylinder engines.
The Dearborn, Mich., automaker said Thursday it does not recommend owners stop driving the vehicles or park them outside because fires are rare and don’t usually occur when engines are off.
But Ford said it received 20 reports of fires, including three that ignited nearby structures. The company also said it had four claims of fires that were noticed within five minutes of the engines shutting down. Ford also has four personal injury claims not involving burns and 43 legal claims attributed to the problem.
Repairs aren’t available yet, but once they are, owners should schedule service with a preferred dealer, Jim Azzouz, executive director of customer experience, said in a statement. Owners will be notified by letter starting December 19.
Owners can take their SUV to the dealership and get a free loan, or they can get free pickup and delivery.
Dealers will inspect the injectors and replace them if necessary. Ford also says it is extending warranties to cover cracked fuel injectors for up to 15 years.
Dealerships will update the vehicles engine control software to detect a cracked injector. Drivers will receive a message on the dashboard to get service. Also, if there is a pressure drop across the injectors, engine power will be cut off to minimize risk and allow drivers to get to a safe place to pull over 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 the rate of failure to cause leaks is low, estimated at 0.38% for 2020 models and 0.22% for 2021 to 2022 models. is for 15 years or 150,000 miles (240,000 kilometers).
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