Ford recalls 125,000 Maverick, Escape, Corsair hybrids over fire risk

Ford is recalling more than 125,000 Maverick, Escape and Lincoln Corsair hybrids produced for the 2020-2023 model years to address a fire risk associated with failure of their internal combustion engines, which Ford says is happening with undue frequency. In the event of an engine block breach, oil and fuel vapors may collect under hood in places that would make them prone to ignition, meaning that an engine failure can do more than leave owners stranded. 

“Isolated engine manufacturing issues have resulted in 2.5L HEV/PHEV engine failures involving engine block or oil pan breach,” Ford said in its defect report to NHTSA. “In the event of an engine block or oil pan breach, the HEV/PHEV system continues to propel the vehicle allowing the customer to continue to drive the vehicle. As the customer continues to drive after a block breach, oil and/or fuel vapor continues to be expelled and accumulates near ignition sources, primarily expected to be the exhaust system.”

Per Ford, the “manufacturing issues” include poor machining of the engine crankshaft and contamination of engine block mating surfaces during assembly. The issue has been fixed in production, but 2.5-liter engines that escaped the factory with defects could be ticking time bombs. Ford’s solution is to re-work the underhood components that allow combustible liquids and vapors near ignition sources. This way, the cars are better protected against immolation regardless of the circumstances. Signs of failure will be obvious, Ford says. Loud clanging or booming noises, a loss of power and smoke are all immediate signs that the customer should exit the roadway as safely and quickly as possible and shut the car down. 

Owners should expect to receive notifications by the end of June or early July. They should begin circulating by mid-month. All remediation will be handled for the customer free of charge by their Ford dealerships. 

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