2013 Ford Escape

The risk of engine fires has prompted Ford to recall 2013 Escape and Fusion models equipped with its 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine. Escape and Fusion models with other engines are not affected.

The redesigned Escape ranks highly among affordable compact SUVs, with reviewers noting its composed handling, comfortable seats and good fuel economy, particularly with the engine in question. The all-new 2013 Fusion just recently hit dealer lots, and has impressed test drivers with its attractive exterior styling, comfortable seats and athletic handling, especially in comparison with other affordable midsize cars. It will be interesting to see how the troubles with the EcoBoost engine impact each vehicle's reliability scores and place in our rankings.

Ford says that reports of engine overheating, which could result in a fire while the engine is running, prompted the recall. The automaker says in a press release that owners of Escape and Fusion models with the 1.6-liter engine should not drive their cars and “contact their dealer as soon as possible to arrange for alternative transportation at no charge.” Ford says that it is currently working on a repair procedure for affected vehicles, and that it will notify customers to schedule service when a solution is available.

2013 Ford Fusion

No injuries have been reported, but roughly 89,000 vehicles are subject to the recall. USA Today writes that a total of 13 fires have been reported, 12 of which occurred in Escape models and one in the recently redesigned Fusion.

Owners who’ve experienced the problem say that the fires were preceded by high engine temperatures. The Los Angeles Times writes, “At the same time, a message on their instrument cluster would say, ‘Engine power reduced to lower temps’ or ‘Engine over temp, stop safely.’ Some also said their instrument clusters sounded a chime and turned on a red light.”

This is the fourth Escape recall since the compact SUV was introduced. “One involved a swatch of carpet that could block the gas pedal,” USA Today reports. “The others all involved the same 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine, including a recent recall because of coolant leaking from a freeze plug.” USA Today also reports that since 2009, Ford has had more recalls than any other automotive brand.

Escape and Fusion owners can check their 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to see if their vehicle is affected. Ford says that the eighth character of the VIN will be an “X” in affected Escapes and an “R” in Fusions. Alternatively, owners in the U.S. can call Ford directly at 866-436-7332, or check their VIN on Ford’s website by going to Ford.com, clicking the “Support” tab, then selecting “View Notices and Recalls.”

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