Ford issues second fire-related recall, this time for hybrid Escape, Maverick, Corsair

·4 min read

Ford Motor Co. has issued a second fire-related recall within two months, this time for an engine cooling problem with the Ford Escape, Lincoln Corsair and Ford Maverick pickup — affecting 100,689 hybrid vehicle customers.

While fires have been reported, there have been no reports of accident or injury, Ford said in its filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Specifically, the Dearborn automaker identified concerns with the 2020-2022 Escape, 2021-2022 Lincoln Corsair, and 2022 Maverick vehicles equipped with a 2.5L hybrid electric vehicle engine or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle engine.

The hybrids combine gasoline engines with electric batteries to increase fuel efficiency.

As of June 22, Ford had identified 23 warranty and field reports globally of under-hood fire or smoke after a suspected block or oil pan breach, Ford said in its filing.

Of the incidents from April 5, 2021, through May 19, 2022, nine were described as under-hood or vehicle fires, six were "localized under-hood melting," seven were under-hood smoke, and one failed to provide enough detail to characterize, Ford said.

Prices for the 2020 Ford Escape plug-in hybrid start at $33,040, excluding destination charges.
Prices for the 2020 Ford Escape plug-in hybrid start at $33,040, excluding destination charges.

The defective vehicles were built between Jan. 19, 2019, and June 13, 2022, according to the regulatory filing.

Ford CEO Jim Farley, who took the helm as CEO from Jim Hackett in October 2020, said publicly that quality control and recall reduction was a top priority. He has hired a quality czar to review all protocols in an attempt to reduce billions of dollars in recall and warranty costs.

If there's smoke

Yet the automaker has been plagued with recalls in recent months of new and old vehicles, including both the Ford Bronco for engine failure and Ford Mustang Mach-E in June.

Now Ford is advising owners of the hybrid Maverick, Escape and Lincoln Corsair to park their vehicles "and shut off the engine as quickly as possible" if they hear unexpected engine noises, notice a reduction in vehicle power, or see smoke, the company said in its regulatory filing.

"In the event of an engine failure, significant quantities of engine oil and/or fuel vapor may be released" under the hood and may accumulate near ignition sources, such as hot engine or exhaust components, "resulting in potential under-hood fire, localized melting of components, or smoke," Ford wrote.

"Engine failure is expected to produce loud noises (example: metal-to-metal clank) audible to the vehicle’s occupants. An engine failure will also result in a reduction in engine torque," Ford said.

Ford will mail recall letters to customers the week of Aug. 8.

Delivery hold

Ford dealers have been asked to delay delivery of these vehicles to customers until they're repaired.

These are the build dates of the vehicles in question:

  • Corsair, Oct. 24, 2019, through June 13, 2022

  • Escape, Jan. 9, 2019, through June 13, 2022

  • Maverick, Feb. 3, 2021, through June 8, 2022

The Corsair and Escape are built at the Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky. The Maverick is built at the Hermosillo Stamping Plant in Mexico.

Rental vehicles for customers affected are not approved for this program.

More: I drove a 2022 Ford Maverick pickup for a week — and had insane gas mileage 

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Ford spokesman Said Deep told the Free Press Friday that the company is aware the recalls cause inconvenience and concern.

"We will always take any action required to ensure their safety and improve quality and customer satisfaction," he said. "We are absolutely committed to launching products with top quality and addressing issues when we see them."

The Maverick pickup has made headlines for its affordability at just under $20,000. Ford had to shut down orders temporarily to fill demand. Immediate popularity of the award-winning vehicle stunned the automaker.

Second fire risk recall

Unlike the fire-related recall involving the 2021 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, these owners have not been asked to park their vehicles away from structures because of a spontaneous combustion risk.

That situation, which involves at least 66,000 vehicles, has resulted in a lawsuit filed this month involving 22 plaintiffs. Paul Rich of Canby, Oregon, purchased a 2021 Expedition in March 2022 and it caught fire while parked in his driveway in June.

More: Ford finds fix for under-hood fires, expands recall on 2021 Expedition, Lincoln Navigator

More: Ford's 'self-inflicted' recalls, warranty costs put automaker at competitive disadvantage

Contact Phoebe Wall Howard at 313-618-1034 or phoward@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @phoebesaid. Read more on Ford and sign up for our autos newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Ford issues recall on hybrid Escape, Maverick, Corsair after fires