Ford is recalling minivans and SUVs in the U.S. for issues that could cause power loss or a potential fire hazard. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that certain 2001-02 Ford Escape SUVs might have a brake master cylinder reservoir cap that leaks brake fluid. If present, the leak could contact the wiring harness for the anti-lock braking system, potentially causing the harness to melt, smoke or catch fire.

The Detroit News reports that in total, 274,368 Escapes have been recalled, and warns owners not to park affected SUVs in garages until they are repaired.

NHTSA reports that Ford should notify owners of affected vehicles starting Jan. 23, but limited parts availability may delay repairs.

Ford’s second recall involves 2004-05 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans that could suddenly lose power. NHTSA says that the torque converter output shaft may fail, resulting in a sudden loss of power and an increased risk of a crash.

Business Week says that 244,530 Freestar and Monterey minivans are subject to the recall, noting that two minor accidents have occurred as a result of the defect. Ford will notify owners of affected minivans in the second quarter of 2012 and replace the torque converter free of charge.

If you own an affected Escape, Freestar or Monterey and want more information, contact Ford’s Customer Relationship Center at 1-866-7332.

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