Ford’s Unfortunate Title Ford Motor Company, unfortunately, holds the title for the most vehicle recalls in the United States. The latest addition to this list is a staggering 125,322 vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shared that Ford is recalling hybrid versions of the 2020-2023 Escape, 2021-2023 Lincoln Corsair, and 2022-2023 Maverick due to an elevated fire risk in the event of a catastrophic engine failure.
The Catastrophic Failure By catastrophic, we mean a full-on hole in the engine block resulting from worn crankshaft bearings. Ford’s investigation into failures of the 2.5-liter engine built on or before July 7, 2022, has been documented in the recall announcement. The automaker received 23 reports of underhood fires globally, with the suspected cause being a hole in either the engine block or oil pan tossing flammable materials around hot components.
Ford’s Corrective Actions Ford took corrective actions to make the crankshaft bearings more robust for newer engines. Fixes were implemented to help direct flammable fluids away from ignition sources should a failure occur. However, despite these measures, some fires have occurred on older vehicles that underwent earlier remedies to reduce such risk.
The Continuing Problem In other words, Ford is still working on a fix to help prevent fires should the engine ventilate itself. It’s important to note that the fire risk is specific to hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. This is because the electrified powertrain can keep the vehicle going even after the engine fails.
The Specific Vehicles As for specific vehicles in the recall, 86,656 Escapes constitute a majority of the recall. 35,501 Mavericks and 3,165 Lincoln Corsairs make up the rest.
The Recall Timeline Owner notification will begin on June 12, though a final remedy isn’t expected until the third quarter of 2023. This recall comes less than a week after another Ford fire-risk recall was issued for the Lincoln MKC, involving battery monitor sensors that could overheat on 142,000 SUVs.
The Recurring Issue This is not the first time Ford has had to deal with fire-related recalls. In November 2022, Ford recalled a half-million SUVs (including the Escape) for fire danger, this time due to a cracked fuel injector. And in September 2022, over 200,000 full-size Ford SUVs were recalled for a fire risk from a module in the glove box.
The Most-Recalled Brand These are just fire-related recalls. The NHTSA issued a report in January stating Ford was by far the most-recalled brand in 2022 with 65 campaigns totaling more than 8.6 million vehicles. The Detroit-based company was well ahead of second-place Volkswagen, which had 45 recalls covering approximately 1 million vehicles.
Ford’s recall of 125,322 hybrid vehicles due to an elevated fire risk is the latest in a series of recalls that have plagued the automaker. Despite corrective actions, the company is still working on a fix to prevent fires in the event of a catastrophic engine failure. As Ford continues to grapple with these issues, the safety of its customers remains paramount.
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1. Which Ford vehicles are included in the latest recall? The latest recall includes hybrid versions of the 2020-2023 Escape, 2021-2023 Lincoln Corsair, and 2022-2023 Maverick.
2. What is the cause of the recall? The recall is due to an elevated fire risk in the event of a catastrophic engine failure, specifically a hole in the engine block resulting from worn crankshaft bearings.