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The 2013 Ford Escape (Credit: Ford).
DETROIT (AP) - Ford is recalling 7,600 new Escapes to fix coolant leaks that can cause engines to overheat or catch fire.

The recall affects 2013 models with 1.6-liter four-cylinder engines. Plugs in the engine may not have been installed properly and can fall out while the motor is running. Coolant can leak and cause engines to overheat.

Dealers have repair parts available and owners should make service appointments as soon as possible, said Ford spokeswoman Marcey Zwiebel. Ford will fix the problem for free.

It's the third recall in less than two months for the completely redesigned SUV, which also has had problems with fuel lines and carpet padding. In July, the company recalled 11,500 Escapes to fix lines that can crack, leak and cause fires. That same month, Ford said it would recall more than 10,000 of the vehicles to fix carpet padding that can interfere with braking.

Three recalls in two months shows there are quality problems with the new vehicle, said Clarence Ditlow, executive director for the Center for Auto Safety, a consumer group.

But Zwiebel said the recalls show that Ford is responding quickly to problems and that they are not a sign of quality issues.

Ford issued the latest recall after getting a single report from a dealership, and no customers had filed complaints about the problem, she said.

The dealer reported that the fire broke out in an Escape driven by an employee. Coolant spilled onto hot engine parts and caused a fire that was quickly put out, Zwiebel said, adding that no one was hurt.

About 2,000 of the recalled Escapes are still on dealer lots, she said. The engines on the recalled SUVs were built from Oct. 5, 2011 to Aug. 31, 2012 at a Ford factory in England.

Older-model Escapes, which are completely different vehicles from the new ones, also have been recalled recently. Ford recalled nearly 485,000 of them in late July to fix sticking gas pedals that can cause crashes.

That worldwide recall covered the following Escapes: the 2001 through 2004 model years powered by 3-liter V-6 engines with cruise control. U.S. safety regulators received 68 complaints about the problem, including 13 crashes, nine injuries and one death. A teenage girl died when an Escape crashed in Arizona in January.


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  • 49 Comments
      MERLIN
      • 2 Years Ago
      ford needs to hire some Americans in the engineering department
      shubbellsharon
      • 2 Years Ago
      My 2013 Ford Escape, with a 1.6 liter engine, which I had for 2 ½ months had been recalled 3 times (two of the three recalls were for fire risk). The Escape recalls were completed by Ford”s certified mechanics all 3 times. The third recall repair was completed and the SUV was picked up on 9-17-12. The Escape caught on fire 9-21-12 and was a total loss. While traveling on I-64, I heard a pop and asked my husband, who was driving, if he had he heard the pop. He said the car was in trouble and the engine light had come on, the tachometer was zero, the gauges were all at zero and the accelerator was non-responsive. We were so blessed we were near a ramp on I-64 when we lost power. We coasted down that ramp. We came to a stop and white steam started coming from both sides of the hood. I screamed “get out, get out”, which we did. The steam turned into brown smoke and flames burst out from under the hood. The 2013 Ford Escape, 1.6 liter engine was in flames. It was very frightening to witness this SUV erupting in flames, We are very blessed with got out in time.
      ticknert2
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ford is junk. The Exploder is a fine example.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I had an 09 Escape once. Moving up to the Expedition. This thing looks too much like a station wagon for my liking. I want an SUV that LOOKS like an SUV. The station wagon went out of favor for a reason, please stop trying to make a comeback, m'kay? These are fugly!
        wrxfrk16
        • 2 Years Ago
        Well, for one, the Escape isn't an SUV, it's based of their passenger car chassis. As for wagons, most good ones look far, far better than SUV's. An Expedition against a 5-series wagon, a CTS-V wagon, no contest.
      jws1141
      • 2 Years Ago
      Interesting, must have a connection with the Dems & OBs ($) Auto Bailout .. they want you-all to get a piece-of -the pie..... Good luck with your 2013 Ford Escape & Its repair. Next time get a Honda
        tonykgreenpark
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jws1141
        Ford was not part of the auto Bailout
        LJ
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jws1141
        Ford didn't take any auto bailout money.
          HAT1701D
          • 2 Years Ago
          @LJ
          It's funny, I've done some research for Ford taking government money as "bill" says they did in 2009 and can't find any sources saying they did...........Interresting.
          hgeorgech
          • 2 Years Ago
          @LJ
          perhaps they SHOULD have ....... more $$ for R & D and maybe fewer recalls???
          • 2 Years Ago
          @LJ
          Ford did take money from the government and still has not paid it back. They took it in 2009
      • 2 Years Ago
      We were actually going to buy one tomorrow. YIKES! Back to the drawing board, I guess.
      HAT1701D
      • 2 Years Ago
      Since when is coolant flamable? It's based on water and I've been working on, assembling and trouble shooting engines since 1990 and NEVER have seen an engine catch on fire .....quote -"Coolant spilled onto hot engine parts and caused a fire that was quickly put out, Zwiebel said, adding that no one was hurt."- Unless there is something in coolant now that can cause fires, it shouldn't do that. IF coolant now has something in it that can catch fire......well, nough said.
        Darryl L. Forbes
        • 2 Years Ago
        @HAT1701D
        I didn't know it until a couple of years ago. But coolant (ethlene glycol) can indeed catch fire if it gets hot enough. Again, I just recently found that out. Most engines don't get hot enough to do it. But the 1.6 is turbo charged and a turbo can get red hot under certain conditions. And if the coolant sprays on the turbo or catalytic converter under just the right conditions, it's possible. Ethlyne glycol (I'm spelling it wrong , i believe) is in the alcohol family, So it indeed is flammable. Just at a MUCH higher temperature. This is a link to the MSDS for antifreeze.:http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9927167
        • 2 Years Ago
        @HAT1701D
        Once the water evaporates, the petroluem based coolant (ethylene glycol or similar) is flammable. So if it were sprayed on a hot surface a fire could result...
        Matthew
        • 2 Years Ago
        @HAT1701D
        I dont know that its so much the coolant but the overheating..There are still plastic pieces in engines right? If the sprak plugs they say werent put in right spark some how... Ive seen engines catch fire. Saw someone driving a toyota and it caught fire.
          Darryl L. Forbes
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Matthew
          It's not the spark plugs. It's the freeze plugs . But even THAT'S not the case with this engine. I work at a ford dealership and have done several recalls. Ford does NOT even have us to inspect the freeze plugs. They have us to inspect the hoses, water pump,and t turbo coolant lines for coolant leaks.. Then we inspect the engine for oil leaks which may have been caused by overheating. We repair any leaks. Then we reprogram the Pcm and instrument cluster so that the engine will depower itself more quickly if it overheats. And it will show a message that says engine overheated. Stop safely. --That's the recall.
      Kahz
      • 2 Years Ago
      I must say, this is Toyota's approach to faults, which seems to be "Ignore until it is too late".
      adkfishcatcher
      • 2 Years Ago
      I drive a 2005 with a v6 engine and checked my freeze out plugs today ,after I read your article. Yes=freeze out plugs were what they were called for 75 years and normally (if installed properly)they dont come out on there own. Only good old Ford technology can cause whats happening.I would bet they are the wrong size and when the motor gets hot=POP They used to make rubber ones that u could tighten,But they probably cost five cents more apiece.And profit rules.
      stevendy1
      • 2 Years Ago
      well at least it wasn't a jap car where they deny it for years and then STILL complain its the customers fault..
        wrxfrk16
        • 2 Years Ago
        @stevendy1
        Funny, the last Jap car I had recalled, a Subaru, was recalled voluntarily for control arms that they feared might begin to rust prematurely. This was a 2003 model, recalled in late 2011, for potential rust. In Ford's dictionary that's some good rustproofing, in the "Jap's" opinion it's a reliability issue worth replacing or recoating control arms on an eight year old compact.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ford should have left the Escape alone. Now it just looks like a sad, ugly attempt to make a mini van look sporty instead of the sporty SUV it used to look like.
        HAT1701D
        • 2 Years Ago
        I agree, but they are trying to "keep up with the Jones's" so to speak as far as current design ethics go. It's just like their poor decision to kick the Ranger out of the market here in the United States but keep selling it in over 120 other countries. Yep, the most popular truck sold in America, because it's AFFORDABLE, but we'll stop selling it here.....................
        Lynne
        • 2 Years Ago
        I so agree! I have a 2012 abd have no idea what I will do after the lease is up. Do not like the new ones! I love my 2012!
        wrxfrk16
        • 2 Years Ago
        It wasn't an SUV, it was a lifted Focus. With some cardboard box styling, it was a joke.
      1mike1
      • 2 Years Ago
      maybe ford should recall crown vics year 2005 head lights go out for no reason. problem in the lighting control moduel. to fix will cost part 525.20 and 200.00 labor just to keep your headlights working. police dept and cab companys across the nation have the same proble. only to fall the the deaf ears at ford. no more fords for me.
        danwat1234
        • 2 Years Ago
        @1mike1
        Just rewire it yourself and put in a nice 35w low beam HID kit for good brightness for catching the perps.
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